December 8, 2016

Day 2 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Madison Keys

Madison Keys

(August 30, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:

Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Alison Riske

Press Conference

M. KEYS/A. Riske

4-6, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Where did you think the match kind of turned a little bit on you?
ALISON RISKE: It’s 2:00 a.m. Maybe that has something to do with it.

She played very well. I did the best I could. Yeah.

Q. It was the latest finish ever for a women’s match here. Do you think being in that sort of unfamiliar territory of playing after 1:00 a.m. was tough for you?
ALISON RISKE: No. I thought I had a high level out there, I really did. I was just joking about the fact that it was 2:00 a.m.

I didn’t feel like it was, you know, anything different than what I’m used to. You know, no, it didn’t feel different.

Q. Are you a night person?
ALISON RISKE: No.

Q. When you went out there, you really took it to her and played a good, aggressive style. When is the last time you remember being consistent and hitting the ball that consistently that deep in a match like this?
ALISON RISKE: Two weeks ago at Cincinnati when I was playing against Kuznetsova. I feel like I’ve been bringing this level pretty consistently, and I think it’s only a matter of time before things start turning my way.

Q. When you’re out on a night session on Ashe, is that most dominant for you, or that you’re playing a friend of yours?
ALISON RISKE: Neither. I played on Ashe before, so I’ve had a couple matches under my belt. Tonight I felt the most comfortable I have, so I feel it’s a step in the right direction.

Madison obviously is an unreal player. She was able to pick it up in the end. That’s why she won the match.

Q. Did you actually notice what time it was?
ALISON RISKE: No, no. I had no idea. I had no idea.

 

Madison Keys

Press Conference

M. KEYS/A. Riske

4-6, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you enjoy having the record of latest match ever or…
MADISON KEYS: Now that I’m a part of it, yay. Let’s try not to break it. (Laughter.)

Q. What was she doing well in the first set?
MADISON KEYS: I think she played really well. I think errors started kind of creeping in a little bit at the end. I wasn’t totally expecting her level to be as high.

I mean, especially her forehand. She was hitting it really well. You know, she was pushing me back. She was dictating. Normally I would get a ball I could be aggressive on she was handling really well for the first set and 12 games.

I was really happy that I just kind of stuck in there and was able to eventually kind of break her down.

Q. First set at a slam, dropping it, it can be a bit of a panic moment for many players. How close did you get to that panic mode and how did you claw it back?
MADISON KEYS: I feel like I actually handled it really well. Being down a set and a break first round of the US Open is never a comfortable feeling. I knew if I let that panic set in then it would just go downhill, so it was a very conscious effort to stay really mellow and be clear thinking.

Q. What is that panic like? Are you thinking, Oh, my god. I lost first round. Everyone is going to think I’m slumping. Transcribe some of your inner dialogue for us.
MADISON KEYS: It’s more I want to do so well. I have been training so hard. I don’t understand why this is happening. And then it spirals. If you let it, it can get very bad very quickly.

I think a big key, especially for me, if I start feeling it, take a step back and take a couple seconds and try and regroup and get back to level so that it doesn’t start spiraling.

Q. (Question regarding the shoulder.)
MADISON KEYS: Just a little bit of shoulder pain. I think it was a little bit heavier out there tonight. Yeah, I think with some treatment it will be fine Wednesday.

Q. At any point during the match, down a set and a break, did the stage, opening night on Ashe, start to creep in?
MADISON KEYS: It didn’t actually, surprisingly. I feel really comfortable out on Ashe. That was only my third match on Ashe, but it felt just like another court. The occasion didn’t really ever feel daunting.

It was more of an excitement factor. This is something to kind of rise to the occasion.

Q. How would you describe playing at that hour?
MADISON KEYS: It’s not that bad. I mean, we both knew we were going to be on late today. I slept till almost 11:00 this morning, so I definitely wasn’t awake at like 6:00 a.m. and at the courts at 8:00.

I didn’t show up until like 6:30, so it wasn’t that bad.

Q. You play Kayla Day next. Do you know anything about her at all?
MADISON KEYS: She was in the junior program at the USTA in Carson when I was there. I officially am starting to feel old because she was like the young group. I guess now she’s winning Kalamazoo and stuff like that.

I don’t know her. I mean, I know her, but I don’t know how she plays or anything like that. So we’ll get Thomas to watch some videos.

Q. You were two points away from losing. Is that a thing you realize in the match, that it’s that close, or are you so zoned in that you don’t notice?
MADISON KEYS: I didn’t really think about it honestly. Obviously I knew it was really close in the tiebreaker, but it never really sunk in that it was two points.

I knew when we had that long rally and she missed the swing volley, that was when I was like, That was really close. Let’s not do that anymore.

Other than that, it didn’t really come into my mind.

 

Ana Ivanovic

Press Conference

D. ALLERTOVA/A. Ivanovic

7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think made the difference in the tiebreak today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Probably confidence. You know, I had that set point, you know, and I went for my big forehand and it was quite a bad miss because I was a little bit in two minds what to do with it.

I think it was just, yeah, a little bit of confidence at that moment to close out the set.

Q. How important is it then for you to continue to keep going for it if maybe you’re not feeling as confident as you should feel?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think that’s what happened in the second set. I tried to go less for it because I tried to make less errors, basically, and I ended up making more.

It was really hard to find the balance between striking and staying in the points. A lot of times in the second set my ball was dropping short of my backhand and she was in control.

Q. How disappointing is it second year in a row going out first round?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it is very disappointing. You want to try and do best at the biggest events. I really felt I did everything I could. It is very, very sad.

Q. What do you attribute it to?
ANA IVANOVIC: I mean, it’s a lot of things. Also, my wrist inflamed again.

Yeah, it’s just like I talked about, you know, confidence in these important moments throughout the matches. I feel like I put myself in a position to close out the set or, you know, a break, and then I don’t.

This is what has been really frustrating, so this is something that I really have to reassess and work on.

Q. You have been at the height of the women’s game. How hungry are you to get back and attain that level?
ANA IVANOVIC: Of course that’s what we work for. I really feel like I have a talent to do that. You know, there is a lot of hard work and a lot of health as well involved. This is what I need to do.

I feel like I have been putting a lot of work on court and in the gym over the year. It’s been very frustrating not getting anything in return, because I really feel like I invested my heart and also the work.

You know, it’s really disappointing in that way, so I really have to try and, you know, stay a little bit positive even if it’s very hard.

Q. Where do you feel like you are emotionally and mentally? This has been I think a struggle of a year on court for you. A lot has happened off the court. But do you feel like you have to step back and re-evaluate things?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think so. You know, it’s been very frustrating that throughout the year I felt like my forehand has actually been letting me down, and that’s something that’s my biggest strength.

I really feel like I have to, yeah, reassess, because like I said, I have been putting so many hours on court and in the gym in particular trying to get my body healthy.

Last year I ended up with very, very bad back, and this year it hasn’t been coming back because I worked so hard at it. It’s just like I said, I haven’t been really rewarded for my hard work.

This is something that I have to sort of accept it and, you know, try to actually see why is that happening, you know, and what I can do differently.

Q. Going back both to that answer and to the prior answer, when you said you’d step back, reassess, and address it, reassessing is easy. How do you actually address it? How do you fix that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well I spoke with my team, What should I do? What can you do differently? You know, it’s sometimes maybe there are new answers.

I try to really play a lot more matches leading up to the US Open, sparring matches, because that’s what I felt I miss. This is maybe something I have to keep at, and then hopefully that can turn it around, sort of get that confidence in the big, important points.

Q. You’re not thinking about walking away from it, though, are you?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, not at all. I just need to really see why is this happening, you know. Because, I mean, I had struggles throughout my career; I had some tough times. This is not the first time I’m going through this.

It just hurts because I know what I invested.

Q. Sometimes in sports they talk about the concept of wanting it too much. Seems like in theory maybe a difficult thing to think about. Is that something you feel like you have ever struggled with?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, all the time. I feel like I have potential and game, but it hasn’t really been coming together. Like I said, it’s not like I don’t work. I really put a lot of hard work. I had four people traveling with me trying to make sure I’m on the right path and doing the right things.

Before when I traveled with one or two persons I was doing much better. You know, these other things that can I have these are the things I have to think about.

Q. When you said you dealt with doubt in the past and you have had struggles and successes, what do you remember from those periods to get out of that?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was a process. It was a process. Nothing happens overnight. You really have to keep at it and keep pushing and having the right approach, day-to-day basis, for it to turn around.

You know, I remember in 2014 when I had a great year. It took me five to six months to actually get in the right shape physically and mentally to be able to do that and to back myself up.

Q. It’s also more difficult, isn’t it, when your seeding starts to fall you start to play tougher players?
ANA IVANOVIC: This actually I don’t really consider, because it’s always a tough draw, so for me doesn’t matter.

Q. Your husband is having a big night tomorrow. Will you be able to watch that special night with him or will you meet afterwards?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, unfortunately I can’t make it there.

Q. On TV?
ANA IVANOVIC: Definitely.

Q. Will you meet here afterwards or…
ANA IVANOVIC: No. Let’s see how my wrist goes and what the next plans are.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #179 at 2016-08-30 16:50:00 GMT

 

Simona Halep

Press Conference

S. HALEP/K. Flipkens

6-0, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I think a lot of people had this match as being tricky. She’s had a good week in New Haven and the score doesn’t reflect that. How do you feel you were playing today?
SIMONA HALEP: I think it was a very good match for me. I started nervous a little bit, but I managed very well. I hit the ball. I took the time to open the court more, because I knew this very difficult to hit from her slice.

She hit a lot of slices today and was not easy, but I like that kind of the game. When it’s slow I have enough time to do everything I want.

I finished some good points, winners, and then the confidence was very high and I could finish in two sets.

Q. How ready did you feel for this tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: 100% ready. I feel good. I feel confident.

I had two good tournaments before coming here. I have no expectations still, but I’m here just to do my job, to enjoy the moment, and to give everything for every match.

Q. You had your best run here last year. You have been going very far in Grand Slams, getting to the final. How ready do you feel you are right now to achieve a title?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, it’s tough to speak about that.

Q. I know it’s a little early.
SIMONA HALEP: I wish I could win it, but is not easy to think about that. It’s just the first round. I have many matches ahead, and the next round is going to be very tough.

Maybe in my career I will win a Grand Slam. I’m not sure and I don’t know if it’s gonna happen, but I’m here just to work hard, to get better, and to dream for it.

Q. Your results have been very, very good coming into the US Open, so talk about the level of confidence that you can draw from the recent results that you have been having.
SIMONA HALEP: I can say I’m very confident in myself. I feel the game. I move very well on court. I am positive all the time. Sometimes I get upset on myself, but still helps me to stay motivated and to stay focused.

I try to improve day by day, even if I’m playing a tournament. I’m not thinking about this tournament just; I’m thinking in a big picture.

All my thoughts are just through improvement, not to win the match, just one match.

I think helps me this attitude, and I think that it’s important I’m healthy now and I can give everything I have during the matches.

Q. 6-Love, 5-Love match point and —
SIMONA HALEP: You remind me that… (Laughter.)

Q. Was that just concentration?
SIMONA HALEP: Like I said on court, I was nervous to finish the match. 6-0, 5-0 match point against a top 50 player is not that bad. Maybe I was scared that it’s too good.

Then I just wanted to do too much at that point, to hit maybe an ace, which is not my favorite shot. I tried too much and then I got a little bit upset with myself and I was rushing.

But then I just said that I had to calm down and to finish the game.

Q. You also said just now that you had no expectations going into this. Has that always been how you approach Grand Slams, or is that something you have tried to make yourself do?
SIMONA HALEP: I tried this thinking just before Montreal. I tried just to think that I have no expectations. I’m playing good tennis. It’s normal to win; it’s normal to lose. Every player is playing well.

So I have just to keep focused for what I have to do on court and to improve my game.

Q. Is that easy to do?
SIMONA HALEP: It’s not easy, because the desire is very big to win and to think that you have to win or you want to win.

But I’m at the big level now of relaxation. I’m relaxed, and I try just to keep that.

Q. You were talking about finishing the match today. Here when you finish the match and you hit the ball up into the stands, are you aiming? You personally, do you aim at anything in particular, or what goes through your mind when you do that?
SIMONA HALEP: Just to hit it right and someone can catch it. Because sometimes I do wrong and it’s not nice.

But this court is huge, so I cannot hit very high level. But I tried today. I was pretty strong. (Smiling.)

Q. As you look ahead to the next match, when you’re here in New York, is there a particular time you like to play, your favorite time of the US Open?
SIMONA HALEP: I don’t believe last year — last year I played night session. I don’t remember if I played, but I like during the day, even if it’s hot. On center court is the best feeling. Now we don’t have wind and it’s perfect atmosphere to play.

Doesn’t matter when I play, I just want to play and to make like nice atmosphere down there, to play good tennis.

Q. Normally most players during practice they practice wearing shorts. Normally when they play their matches —
SIMONA HALEP: You like my outfit?

Q. I don’t know. I’m asking.
SIMONA HALEP: I love it.

Q. Okay. Fair enough. Do you feel a difference when you play a match not in like a tennis dress or tennis skirt and tennis shorts instead?
SIMONA HALEP: Today I didn’t feel different. I was not paying attention on my outfit, to be honest.

But I like it and I love it. I can say I feel very comfy on it and I will ask adidas to make more shorts for me (Smiling.)

It’s nice and it’s something different so I take it like a very beautiful thing.

Q. A question I always wanted to ask you. So today you’re in such a good mood. Something totally different. Tennis, when you started, when you were young and you started tennis, playing tennis and to become a professional, I want to ask you, did you always — did you ever feel motivated by the old good times of Romanian men’s tennis? Of course I know you know Tiriac well, and Nastase. Was this motivation for you?
SIMONA HALEP: I started when I was very young, around four and a half, but to think I want to be professional tennis player it was around 14. It was not easy for me to get the motivation from them because I didn’t know them. I never met them before.

With Mr. Tiriac I started to talk two years ago so, yeah, not long again.

With Mr. Nastase I’m not talking very often. Just when I see him, just hello and something like that.

But Virginia Ruzici I have since I was 16, 17 like a manager. Yeah, I can say that it was a motivation because she could win a Grand Slam. That is my dream. And I feel that everything is possible when I have her next to me.

Yeah, it’s good motivation, and I try just to keep these people around me to give me motivation and inspiration.

Q. You have said you try to eat a little dessert every day.
SIMONA HALEP: I just have cheesecake. Every day. Yesterday I had a big ice cream on the street.

Q. Any baked goods, bakeries in New York City you’re excited about or looking forward to trying?
SIMONA HALEP: Like a dessert?

Q. Yeah, bakery.
SIMONA HALEP: Cheesecake I am eating here and the chocolate ice cream at the machines on the street. It’s amazing. (Smiling.) I had double yesterday.

Q. You recently posted some pictures at an amusement park on Instagram.
SIMONA HALEP: Cincinnati. I tried a roller coaster.

Q. First time?
SIMONA HALEP: First time in my life and never again. (Laughter.)

I felt that I’m dying. Darren said he was going on all the machines, and I said I’m not going to do that. But he said it was a white one, and I didn’t see completely. Like I just saw the end, and the end was straight. He said, Come on. It’s pretty easy. It’s the lightest one.

I said about what is that? He said, just the speed, but straight. I said, Oh, I love speed, so I can go.

When I went there and that machine was going down, I felt that I’m dying. I said, Darren, never again. He was laughing when I said. It was tough, but it was nice. Good experience.

Q. Are you a screamer or were you silently scared?
SIMONA HALEP: Nothing. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t breathe. No, I didn’t scream.

 

Kei Nishikori

Press Conference

K. NISHIKORI/B. Becker

6-1, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Cruising right along there and hit a snag in the third set and were able to turn around in the fourth and final set. Assess the match, what happened in the third, and generally how satisfied are you with the result?
KEI NISHIKORI: Actually, I’m very satisfied with tennis today. You know, I think third set he start playing much better, little more aggressive, you know, that he didn’t do it in the first and second.

I think that the one game I didn’t do well is the last two games. I kind of slow it down, and, you know, when I give him little chance then he was attacking really well.

So, you know, I think, you know, credit to him, you know, that he played really well third and fourth.

But I step it up last two games. I play little more aggressive. You know, I took the little chance.

Yeah, like I said, it was great match, and I think good start of this week.

Q. Obviously you’re two years removed from being in the final. You knocked off some of the top players. You know you can do it and you’ve done it on this stage before. Coming into this tournament with good results. How confident are you that you can get back on that stage again?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah. I think there is a lot of chance, for sure, if I can play good. Well, yeah, I got a lot of confidence from Toronto and this summer in Olympics, too. I played some good tennis. You know, beating Rafa, it was great experience I had in Olympics.

So I think I’m feeling pretty good. I took some days off after Cincy, and mentally, physically, I’m ready for these two weeks. I hope I can, you know, come back, you know, later these two weeks.

Yeah, it’s going to be a big goal for me to get this title.

Q. You have played in the Grandstand. How do you like it?
KEI NISHIKORI: It was good. You know, a lot of people show up. I feel very big, you know, huge, huge court. They make a lot of great courts.

Yeah, it was good feeling.

 

Timea Bacsinszky

Press Conference

T. BACSINSZKY/V. Diatchenko

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your thoughts on that match and her play. I know she’s had a lot of injuries and things and hasn’t played that much. Your thoughts on her effort and how you were able to get through pretty easy.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, when you get to play a girl which is entering with a protected ranking you never know what to await exactly. You don’t know how in shape she’s going to be.

This was the difficult part of the day. Not knowing what would be just in front of me, which answers she would give to all the questions I’m asking her.

So I figured when you’re not playing for a while, maybe intensity-wise you cannot, like, handle it like maybe for three sets. So I was trying — I told myself, Okay, anyway, just try to put as much intensity as you can and try to make a long match if, let’s say, she’s leading or winning the first set.

Because I didn’t know actually how she was really playing. I asked a little bit around, but no one saw her for last year.

Q. After you won the first set, did the second set feel easier?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, because then tactic-wise I found some things which were bothering her, so then it’s easier. But really right at the beginning when you step on court you never know what’s going to come, and that was the difficult part for me.

But then it was easier, let’s say, in the second set, but then she calls the physio. It’s not that easy because you have to stick to the game. You just have to get your mind really set on what you have to do and not like is she gonna run? Is she not gonna run? What is is she gonna do? Is she gonna hit harder? Make dropshots?

So I tried just not to think too much. Just okay, I — I decided I’m going to run no matter what. Yeah, that’s what helped me, yeah, to get through this match.

Q. What do you make of your summer so far? Like post Wimbledon, having a little bit of a break, into the Olympics, fantastic result there in doubles, now we’re back on tour and the grind and the slams. What do you make of the last two months?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, I was supposed to get a week of holiday the same week of — like the week of Gstaad, but it was like home tournament so I couldn’t — was tough for me because at one point I knew it would be a tough year and I would need to rest at one point.

But I chose to play Gstaad because it was home, and I was all the time complaining there were no tournaments in Switzerland. So I had to assume my status and assume everything what I said in the past, so I played it.

And then so maybe I said that in an interview already. A bought a small boat, motor boat.

Q. Boat?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, boat, so you can go like on the lake. I’m living next to a lake, so… I mean, in Lausanne, beautiful city of Lausanne, Olympic capital, by the way. Really proud to win a medal as coming from the Olympic capital.

Well, my boyfriend just passed the boat riding/driving or — I mean the boat license. That’s why he didn’t come with me for the last couple of weeks, but then we went with friends. I discovered wake surfing, as well. I’m a big fan of that, as well. It’s not the same the wake board.

You have your feet unattached, and you just have to — you like hang on to a thing, like to come out of water, but then you surf the wave actually created from the boat.

So you put all the — in French it’s (Speaking French) the weight on one side. If you’re goofy it’s on one side; if you’re regular it’s on the other one.

Then you just like ride the wave which the boat is creating. So it was really fun, so I just loved it.

So that was my summer plans.

Q. So that was after Gstaad, before the Olympics?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: It was after Gstaad, yeah. So those were just a couple of days. Then I decided to practice again.

Yeah, well, I went to Swiss tennis, practiced a couple of times with Victorija Golubic, as well. You know she’s one of my best girlfriends definitely on tour. That’s when this whole thing happened, when we were so happy that we were going together to the Olympics and then Belinda doesn’t come. Then she’s at practice with me and Martina says, yeah, well, I’m going to play with Timea. Me, I’m like, What? What? No, no. Not now. No.

Yeah, well, it was kind of strange, but then, yeah, well, Olympics, and it happened the way it happened and it was just like unreal.

Yeah, probably lost — I mean, I had so many unbelievable moments over there, but probably lost a lot of energy, as well.

But, yeah, well, I don’t know if I completed. Like I answered the question more or less.

Q. What did you learn from playing doubles with Martina?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Oh, many things. I mean, many things. For sure tennis-wise the touch, what she has or like the way she can put the ball there or here.

I mean, it’s something that it’s her own thing. Tactic-wise, I didn’t learn much, because on myself I’m playing — using many tactics in my singles, and I played a lot of doubles before, too.

But just now when I came back three years ago I decided to play less and less doubles, because I figured I spare my energy for singles because it’s hard already to do that.

So it’s not something that you can learn or, I mean, for sure she had – she still has – an unbelievable career. But I think I didn’t go there to try to learn something. I went to play the Olympics, to go as far as we could, and try to create something.

I think it worked quite well.

Q. What was going through your mind as you’re standing on the podium and they’re giving you the medal, and, you know, the flags are going up?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: I’m going to cry. (Laughter.) Sorry.

To be honest, I still did not celebrate it really, the Olympics, so sometimes I still cannot realize it. But, you know, like growing up in Lausanne you have all the Olympic committees around. I practiced next to the IOC, the house of the IOC. You have the Olympic museum over there.

As a kid at school, every school of the region goes there to visit at least — probably in the whole scholarship, probably at least three times the Olympic museum.

We went with friends from Hungary, for example. It’s a highlight in Lausanne. You have many things to do, but for tourists, it’s just amazing.

Well, I mean, for me it means like so much. I mean, I was watching the Olympics, and I would never ever really think that I would win a medal one day. That we did it together against all odds.

It was really like not something like that would just work, and it’s gonna be there. Like how it happened that we ended up playing together, and then also feeling like if something is happening between us two, can we create something, trying to lift the other one up.

Like playing like next to Martina sometimes it’s not easy position, as well. But I’m super proud of myself because I held her up sometimes during this event, as well. She was maybe less motivated at the beginning. She was like, Oh, crap, I cannot — I mean, I feel like everyone is letting me down, but you’re the only one who stands here with me. So, like, okay, let’s do it.

I mean, it’s many, many things.

So it means just a huge thing. And like we have accomplished something amazing, but myself, too. Yeah, well, I really never never ever thought that I would be, yeah, coming back home with a medal one day.

So, yeah, it really made me dream a lot when I was a kid even though tennis is not really in history of the Olympics, but — sorry. I continue speaking. You guys know I speak a lot.

Something which was really amazing, and sometimes it was tough even to come back on tour, because over there it’s some — I mean, it’s — how you say in French? (Speaking French).

Q. Temporary.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: No. It has like no — you’re like, how do you say?

Q. Intangible? Temporal? Like it’s just not… Continue.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, it’s not connected to anything. Like you get there, you get to meet people, you don’t know them and probably you’re never going to see them again, but at least in the Village you just feel respect which is like around everyone there.

There’s no aggressivity. Like really almost like — with me everyone was nice. I mean, and I myself, probably I was shining more than usually. I was laughing more because I really felt like the energy of it.

Okay, it’s only two weeks in a year or three weeks in a year and that’s sad, because it should be — every competition for me should be like that. Because you’re not — it’s not like — even in tennis we use sometimes, Oh, what are your weapons? Oh, come on, guys. You’re not doing that for war. We use weapons for war. But why do we use that also in our vocabulary?

And really, at the Olympics I really felt like you meet an athlete, you just talk for five minutes or even two or you trade a pin. This is the best invention ever for myself, or for what I really think, because otherwise maybe people would be too shy to talk with each other.

But like that, you can go to any country in the world and say, Ah, Palau. Didn’t even know it existed. Or Tuvalu. Where is it on the world map?

Yeah, like you get curious and then you’re like, Oh, which sport are you in? What are you doing? Oh, I lost to her or I got injured. Then you really feel like it’s how sad it is and how much it means to people. Then, okay, you say, bye-bye, good luck, all the best for you, and you’re probably never going to meet him or her again.

But the human contact, the exchange, is just natural, simple, and it’s nice. And all the images that you see from the Olympics are usually full of positive emotions of sportsmanship, of — you try to give really your best. For sure sometimes sadness or like you lost or you didn’t get the bronze medal, and there are only nice images for me.

Yes, for sure in Judo you had this poor, poor guy which did not to salute his opponent, which is like terrible. But it’s one. One out of how many nice things.

Yeah, as I came back on tour it was not like — you feel like sometimes the tension that people have in their eyes, like even on the tennis tour. You’re like, Guys, I didn’t do anything. Like calm down. You feel the aggressivity sometimes, which I was sincerely not feeling at the Olympics.

You go back to the Swiss house and all the other Swiss athletes, they are really like 100% sincere that they are so happy for you that you got a medal, because they know how tough it is and how much you work all year long for that and how big it means to everyone.

I really felt — it’s the first time in my life I really felt like 100% of sincerety out of people or other athletes which were like, Oh, wow. I saw that you won a medal. Oh, how amazing. Do you have it? Can I just see it?

And this like — I think the world just should be like. Unluckily there are no Olympics every week. It wouldn’t be that special probably. But it made me realize that it’s, yeah, many things.

 

Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/F. Verdasco

7-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your buddy Roger isn’t here. How does it feel without him around to talk to and discuss things with? How is it not to have Roger here to talk to and as a friend to discuss things?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. It’s hard for the tournament, for the fans, for the tennis, for everybody.

Roger is so important for the tennis, and it’s unfortunate he’s injury for the rest of the year. It’s not the best for the tournament, but now that the tournament started I’m focused on my game.

Q. Does it matter to you at all just as a personal thing?
STAN WAWRINKA: No.

Q. Focusing on your match today, obviously facing a difficult first-round opponent, getting through in straight sets. How happy are you with the result?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, I’m really happy. I think it was a great match, especially for first round. You never expect to play your best game and full of confidence, but I think the level was quite high.

Fernando is a tough player to play. He can be really aggressive. He don’t give you so much rhythm, so it’s not easy. But I think in general I’m happy with what I did. I was really focused on myself. I was moving really well for first one. I’m getting some confidence from that match.

Q. Your fitness or condition coming in, do you feel confident that you can once again go far here?
STAN WAWRINKA: Pretty, yes, but it’s a Grand Slam. You need focus match after match. In general, I’m really confident with my preparation, with the way I’m playing in practice court, the way I’m moving.

I think everything has been really well. I had almost 10 days here in New York to do great preparation. Again, now, I’m focused on the tournament, match after match.

But the way I started today, I’m really happy with that. Let’s see what’s gonna happen the next few days and weeks.

Q. You have won both of these Grand Slam meetings. Is it something about the mental edge in the big tournaments or is it best of five or do you elevate your game a little more, do you think?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah. I think also last few years I have been way better tennis player in the court, especially on big events.

Today, again, I knew I was ready physically to get there. Tough condition at the beginning, but, yeah, I think in general I’m better than few years ago. That’s make the difference.

Q. One of the traditions is when you hit the balls into the crowd after the match, how do you determine where you’re going to hit them? If you were playing in Ashe, would you ever try to hit the ball out?
STAN WAWRINKA: I don’t think you can. (Smiling.) But the good thing here is you can send a ball as hard as you can. That’s always good.

No, it’s depends. I look out in the crowd. I look where are the people who really are making some noise. I look where are the Swiss fans and the young people. It depends. That’s why I give a little bit to each side.

Q. This season it looks like you’re going with very bright colors that you are wearing. Do you like your outfit here and compared to the other two Grand Slams where you already have the bright colors?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it’s a bright year so far for me, in Grand Slams especially. No, it’s okay. I can also put some more black if I want. First time I’m going with the pink shirt and short. We’ll see how it looks on the picture, and then I will decide if I go back to the black one.

Q. A lot of errors in the tiebreaker. You made fewer of them. What was your assessment of that? In the tiebreaker were you worried?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. I think I’m really happy with the tiebreaker. Was important, especially first set, to take that set. He had more opportunity during the set. He had some break points, but I was trying to find little by little my game.

Was important for the rest of the match to take the tiebreak. I start to play way better after that.

Q. The focus has been on Roger, Rafa, Novak, Andy, but you’re right up there. Expectations are high for you. People come out to see your matches. Do you feel that? Do you feel that, say, compared to a few years ago? How do you handle sort of the elevated expectations?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, for sure it’s different than few years ago. Everything is different. I have been winning some Grand Slam, my ranking is No. 3 in the world, I’m seeded 3 here. Playing first round on Ashe everything is different.

But also for myself. My expectations for myself are more higher than before. For me, the most important thing is to focus on what I can control, all the practice, all the schedule, giving everything every practice being ready for the tournament.

Right now I know I’m ready for here, for the tournament. And now I’m going to see how I’m going to deal with the pressure, with the match, and trying to play the best I can until as far as I can.

 

Janko Tipsarevic

Press Conference

J. TIPSAREVIC/S. Querrey

7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What does a win like today tell you about where you are in your comeback?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I always celebrate a little bit more in tennis than I should. But, you know, two years and three months not competing kind of takes a lot from you (smiling).

Beating a very good player on a big court means a lot, a lot. I feel the challenger that I won prior to come to the US Open two weeks ago, even though it was on clay, it wasn’t that strong, gave me confidence because I won it from quallies, and I won seven matches in a row. It’s just nice to hear, Game, set, match, Tipsarevic.

When you have practice and wins behind you, hopefully this will help me go deep into the tournament.

Q. How do you rank Armstrong in terms of courts?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I like Armstrong. I don’t think I ever lost a match on that court. I didn’t play many, maybe five, six, but I don’t think I ever lost a match on that court.

It’s a good court. It’s very wide, so if it’s not completely full, it looks half empty. It’s not fair. We have a similar situation with Belgrade Arena, which is like 20,000 people. It happens to us sometimes when we play Davis Cup and 10,000 people come to watch us, and it looks half empty, but there’s a lot of people there.

So it’s not really compact, so it kind of looks like it’s half empty, but there’s a lot of seats. It’s a very, very big court.

Q. What is your favorite court?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Grandstand. It’s a very weird court. All of the courts here at the US Open have a lot of space, left, right and behind. And Grandstand is quite small. It’s kind of like if you remember the Memphis center court, it’s really, really compact and small. A lot of players take time to get used to it. But I played a lot of matches on that court and I’m prepared from the very beginning.

Q. You have an active mind and a lot of interests. What has kept you focused on tennis these years that you’ve had all these injuries and struggles?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: You know, at the beginning it was a little bit of a relief because in 2013 I was playing half injured. For the amount of painkillers I was taking in 2013, the enzymes of my liver went four times more as they should be. So I was really screwed up.

So in the beginning it was a little bit of a relief, saying, Okay, I’m going to take two, three months even off, skip to Australian Open, be hungry, come back. Since the first injury was a benign tumor, it was way more complicated than anybody thought. Even in the first six or seven or eight months, it wasn’t that bad.

But then after I did the second surgery, and part of the recovery which didn’t go as planned, which we are already a year and something into this, I was really struggling a lot mentally.

My family helped me. We had a beautiful little daughter at that time, so I had something to keep my mind busy. The worst part is at that point I couldn’t even really practice because I was basically four months in an actual bed, like not being able to walk on crutches or wheelchair or whatever.

If you can practice or run or go to the gym, it’s kind of easier. I even played tennis for a while sitting on a chair because I couldn’t stand. I’m not crying you a river here; I’m just telling you how it actually was.

To answer your question shortly, I hated tennis at that point and I hated actually other sports. I couldn’t watch other sports because I felt jealous of all the other athletes. They could run and do what they like, and I’m just sitting at home and watching TV.

I didn’t think about tennis that much.

Q. In the match today, your defense was really outstanding. Do you feel that’s a sign you’re back from injury?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Thank you for noticing. This was the biggest, biggest change which I’m finally starting to feel in the last three or four weeks only. Getting my forehands, backhands back, even serve, I don’t want to say piece of cake, but was quite easy.

Being mobile like I was in my prime was the toughest thing. A big part of that is my new fitness coach, Professor Dusch Covilic, who is a professor of biomechanics. We are working on very specific movements. He has helped me a lot to improve my defense. We have only been working for a month, so he hasn’t had a lot of time.

I am injury-free for quite a while now, so I am finally starting to feel confidence in my body to defend in some of the more crucial moments of the match.

Q. When you were in your prime before you were injured, how do you think your game has changed from that point to now coming back?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I know this will sound funny, but I believe even when I was in my prime, I still didn’t play my best tennis. When I was in my prime, I believe I served outstandingly well and I was very disciplined as a player, meaning I wasn’t making stupid, unforced errors, I wasn’t going for winners from the position that I shouldn’t. I was trying not to be this kind of flashy player. I was a very disciplined player, with obviously weapons which I was using on the court.

I didn’t feel that I used my aggressive tennis to the fullest potential. Hopefully I will be the old Janko next year at the Australian Open. I mean, only in the last three or four weeks I’m able to do stuff even on fitness without thinking what might happen with the knee or with the hip or with the foot or whatever. So this gives me a lot of confidence towards the end of the year where I’m highly motivated to hopefully make enough points not to be needing wild cards or protected rankings for next year.

Q. How much confidence did you take from winning the challenger in China a couple weeks ago?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: A lot. I mean, I know the cutoff was really low. It was a big challenger, 125 plus eight, so winner was getting basically same amount of points as a final of the ATP.

But I got back playing few weeks before the French Open. I was playing well, but I was always – I know this sounds very bad, but I was really having bad draws. Even challengers, I was playing against like first round Jiri Vesely, who beat Djokovic in Monte-Carlo. Then I played, in a challenger, Carlos Berlocq, who was a top-30 player. On big events I end up playing first round Raonic, first round Cilic, first round Simon, guys who even if I’m playing well I don’t like playing.

I feel like I needed a few of the wins to get the confidence back. I was even offered to play a wild card, I refused, I wanted to grind and win my way through quallies. So it really did help a lot.

Q. Has anyone’s particular journey back from being away from tennis or injury or something else inspire you as you’ve tried to come back, any other player you can point to?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I had a very turbulent career, you know. Good junior, bad junior, great junior, good senior, bad senior, up and down, up and down. I never had a comeback. I was, up until 2013, generally a very healthy player.

I don’t have a person who motivates me to say, I want to come back like Andre Agassi or something like that. I want to do this because of myself.

The only guy on tour who can actually really relate to the pain and suffering that I went through is Juan Martin del Potro. We ended up on a practice court at Wimbledon actually more talking than practicing about everything that’s been. Both of us had three surgeries. For both of us it happened when we were playing great tennis. We were basically interrupting each other with what was going on through our minds in this, like, moments of depression and sadness, just not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Injuries are part of the sport. I know Rafa and all the other guys, they were injured a lot. To have this amount of injury for this significant period of time, he’s the only player that can actually relate to what happened.

 

Jared Donaldson

Press Conference

J. DONALDSON/D. Goffin

4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What does that feel like to beat the No. 12 player in the world and get your first US Open win?
JARED DONALDSON: Obviously it was a really, really exciting atmosphere out there. I thought that I played really well. It was tough conditions. It was hot. I think we were both trying to move each other as much as possible and take time away from each other.

So I think that, you know, I just was able to win a few more of the key points today. Obviously that fourth set I played really well.

I think it was a really, really special victory for me.

Q. Seemed like your backhand was the thing that was giving you the most trouble the first set and a half, then you turned it around.
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah. I mean, I think out there it was flying a little bit. I was missing a couple more balls deep than I normally do. That could be because it was a little bit hotter than I played recently. Maybe wasn’t getting quite enough spin on the ball. But I also wanted to make sure I was hitting an effective ball against David because if not I knew I was going to be in trouble and he was going to move me. It could have been that. It could have been a few different factors out there for why it wasn’t going in.

But I just, you know, kept fighting, and eventually things started to go my way.

Q. Talk about your serve, how much that’s been a factor in what you’ve been able to do this summer.
JARED DONALDSON: Certainly my serve has improved a lot since working with Taylor and I feel that is a big key to my game, especially when I’m able to hold easier, not have to grind out so many points.

First set, I served really weak. I think I served like 26% or something, it was pretty poor. But, again, I just kept fighting and things started to turn my way. Once I got a little bit of confidence, kind of got my teeth in the match, I think I really went out and did everything I was supposed to do on the serve, not only on from the serve but from the groundstrokes. Obviously serving well is key, not only for me, but for a lot of guys.

Q. Was there a point in the match where you actually could feel that you were gaining confidence, becoming more aggressive? Was there something that happened that turned that for you?
JARED DONALDSON: I think that after the second set, I felt honestly like I kind of stole that set. Broke back I think at 4-2 or something like that. Then kind of just kept holding, kept fighting. Then at 6-5, me, I felt that he just maybe had — he let me into the match a little bit playing not an amazing game.

Then I felt like that kind of started to get the ball rolling for me. I got a little bit of confidence. I said, Hey, I won the first set, I can definitely win another, and if I can win another, I can win the third.

I think after winning that second set, it gave me a little bit of confidence, especially after being a break down.

Q. How big was getting the break back to get yourself back into the match, back on serve?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, it was big because I was trying everything in the wrong direction. Obviously being down two sets to love is not where you want to be. Normally it’s over for you. Obviously in a slam you play a third.

But I knew if I was down two sets to love, that was going to be a tall order. But, again, I just kept fighting and kept doing what I try to do every match, control things I can control. And eventually, just when the big point game, things just seemed to kind of fall in my direction.

I think that’s kind of the position you have to put yourself in as a tennis player. The big points are going to come. You just have to be ready when they do. Sometimes you win more of them, sometimes you don’t. It’s a very fine line between winning and losing out there.

Q. The mental thing, there’s so many ups and downs in a match, in your career. Is it forcing yourself to have a short memory and move on? How do you deal with all that stuff?
JARED DONALDSON: Well, I think obviously today I kind of had a short memory. It wasn’t something I was focusing on. I was just trying to focus on what I needed to do at that point to win.

I kind of learned that playing against better players, you can’t really dwell on the past. The past is the past. It’s kind of next point, you know. You just got to focus on the next point.

I felt like I did that really well today. There were times when I didn’t play great games; there were times he didn’t play great games. When the big moment came, I just seemed to play, you know, good tennis.

I served obviously really well. Got a lot of cheap points on my serve. That definitely helped.

I felt like I just put myself in positions to make it close, then obviously to win the match and the sets.

Q. Does that apply as well to wins and losses, to move on, not get too down?
JARED DONALDSON: Sure, yeah. I mean, obviously right now it’s great. During the match, just briefly after, it was great to win. Now it’s only the first round. In a lot of other sports you get maybe a little bit more longer breaks to enjoy the moment.

But, I mean, now it’s kind of on to my next round. I have to get ready for my next opponent, just do all the right things to be 100% ready mentally, physically for Thursday.

Q. Taylor Dent, big serve, tennis heritage, real courage. Talk to us about what he’s like.
JARED DONALDSON: Taylor has kind of crafted my game since I just turned 17, for all the kind of things I’m doing out there now is a reflection of his influence on me, coaching with me, working with me. I owe a lot to him.

I think that his influence and how he believes the game should be played is how I play the game and what I believe. I think we work really well together because we see things maybe not — we have the overall picture of what we see, but we don’t arrive at the same conclusion the same way. You know what I mean?

We see the same overall picture the same, which I think is really important for a coaching relationship. I think that he’s done a good job and I’ve done a good job also of kind of listening to him and then working really hard at doing what he said.

Q. Be a little bit more specific on the overall picture. What areas of the game?
JARED DONALDSON: I mean, so I started working with him to work on the serve. That was the main reason I went out there. But he’s also added so much more to my game than just the serve. He changed my technique on the serve when I went out there at 17. Changed my technique again a little bit ago, right before this hard court swing.

That’s obviously his influence. My serve is basically because of Taylor and Phil. But also just trying to play aggressive, take time away from the opponent. That’s also an influence of him as well.

The serve is maybe the biggest thing, but everything you see out there has been influenced by Taylor and so forth.

Q. You’ve been here a couple times before. Did you go into this match thinking, Now it’s time?
JARED DONALDSON: I don’t really go into matches thinking, Now it’s time, or I have to do something. Obviously when I saw the draw, I was thinking, Okay, this is my third time here, second time playing I think a top player. So I knew that going in. I’m not oblivious to those things. You’re human. You run through so many scenarios in your head.

I knew I think playing recently that everybody’s good, but there’s fine lines in tennis. So I think it’s important to remember that big points come for both players. You just have to keep focusing on what you can control and not kind of let outside distractions distract you. That’s what I did out there. I think I did that pretty well today.

Q. He double-faulted 17 times today. He said it got mental with him towards the end, which of course happens. You seemed to be attacking his second serve as the match went on. Were you cognizant that he was just trying to get it in? What’s going through your mind as he’s double-faulting? Are you thinking, I’m going to be aggressive on every second serve?
JARED DONALDSON: Especially in the fourth set, I was trying to be very aggressive on the second serve, make points quick. I think in general that’s kind of how I play.

Sometimes, especially against him, where he plays such good defense and keeps the ball so deep, the second serve might be the weakest shot you get during the whole rally. I knew I had to take my chances and play aggressive when the opportunity presented itself because I wanted to take time away from him and rush him, not have it be the other way around. Where in the first set, I felt I didn’t do a great job returning. Also I think when I left the ball too weak for him, he was really hurting me. So, again, I knew I had to play the point on my terms and be aggressive and so forth.

Obviously, yes, I think that him double-faulting did benefit me, of course. But I also think it was kind of a two-way street where maybe he lost a little bit of confidence or knowing that he needs to put a good second serve in so he’s not moving so much. I think both things kind of came into play.

 

Bernard Tomic

Press Conference

D. DZUMHUR/B. Tomic

6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty frustrating day for you out there.
BERNARD TOMIC: No, it wasn’t that frustrating. I think he just played a good match. I think everyone sort of looked far ahead and prospected me and Nick in the third round. I think everyone wanted to see that. The media was too focused on that.

I think I didn’t give everyone what they wanted. So full credit to the player I played today. It’s a match I lost. But it’s been a good U.S. season for me the last four or five weeks. I played some good tennis. But unfortunately today I was a little bit tired and I played a quality player.

Q. Did the media expectations distract you today, make you lose focus?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. I was a little bit tired. I played a lot of tennis, especially last few weeks. I played quality tennis. Today was tough for me. I knew I had to play a lot of balls against him. He’s beaten a few players in the top 10, Berdych, et cetera. I knew it was going to be tough because I played him here last year in the first round.

For me to play this match tonight, I knew I had to use my feet, my legs, and be on every ball. I just couldn’t find the energy. I just needed to find something. Even my serve was off.

But he was playing very, very good. I spoke to him in the locker after. He said he played a very, very good match.

Q. What was the situation with the heckler in the crowd?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think he was just baiting me a bit. You know, I don’t want to get into it. I apologized for what I said to him. I think after he left the first set, I think the crowd got happy he left because he was a bit annoying. But it’s okay.

Q. He was actually kicked out?
BERNARD TOMIC: I have no idea. I just saw he left and the crowd clapped a bit. But I have no idea who he is. I apologized for what I said to him. I just continued to play after the second, third set and fourth.

Q. What was the exchange you had with the chair umpire?
BERNARD TOMIC: The chair umpire? When was that?

Q. Did he talk to you about what you said?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, no, he just asked me who was that, what was this. I just said some guy. I don’t know who it was. The whole time I didn’t know who it was. I’m focusing on the court. That’s my priority.

There was some stuff in the background as I was playing balls and returning. It’s tough. I watched a little bit today of Tipsarevic also and Querrey. There were some similar situations with the crowd yelling and people talking in between points. Big points, I should say. It was maybe not good that the crowd got too excited or sometimes speaking in the points, it’s not fair. I think we’re here to all play and everything has to be equal.

Nothing was really said with me and the umpire. He just asked me what was the problem.

Q. Is what he was saying to you similar to what you said back to him?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don’t know. I just turned around. It was the same sort of voice. He was just sort of saying negative stuff. I didn’t know who it was because I was just focusing on the court. It was tough to figure out in the background.

It’s passed and I don’t really care who this guy is.

Q. What sort of things were said?
BERNARD TOMIC: I can’t remember at the moment. I don’t want to talk about it anymore because I do not remember what he was saying to me. It was just in that moment. But it’s okay.

Q. What you said was picked up on camera, is on YouTube already. What do you think of that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think obviously — you know, I apologized to what I said to him. He definitely baited me the whole set for me to say that. But I do apologize. If there were people around that heard, yeah, that’s all I can say.

Q. You had a discussion with Dzumhur at the handshake. Anything related to that?
BERNARD TOMIC: No, Dzumhur is a good friend of mine. I respect him a lot. I just wished him the best and encouraged him to continue his great form this week. Hopefully he can do well for himself here.

Q. (Question regarding Davis Cup.)
BERNARD TOMIC: I haven’t thought about anything yet. I’m just tired lately, last month, two. Especially after Wimbledon. I went to Washington straightaway. Was playing pretty okay. Then Toronto. Was flying a lot.

It’s tough. Tennis, you have to be really fit and stuff. I’m one of those guys if I’m 100% and fit and ready for the tournament, I play very good tennis.

But now I think definitely I’ll go back to Davis Cup we have. It’s a little bit further away we have, maybe two weeks. Maybe I’ll relax now a little bit.

Q. Do you feel the Old Grandstand that you hear a lot more from the crowd than you would other courts?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, for sure. It’s, what do you call it, everything is near and compact. Yeah, surprised there was no challenge. I obviously played on that court where I beat Lleyton and lost to Gasquet in the third round. There was a challenge. This year there was no challenge. I was fascinated. But obviously they moved the New Grandstand to the new position and it’s a great court, for sure. I’ve seen it.

Q. Are you saying you will play Davis Cup?
BERNARD TOMIC: Of course. It’s a stupid question. I always play Davis Cup. I’m there 100%.

Q. You seem to expect the questions about what got picked up on microphones. How did you hear about that after the match?
BERNARD TOMIC: What do you mean?

Q. How did you hear this was out and online and everyone heard what you said?
BERNARD TOMIC: I just heard from you. You just told me then, or whoever said. I couldn’t care less. I apologized right now if anyone heard around, but I directed it specifically to him.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
BERNARD TOMIC: I couldn’t care less where he went. I think the crowd clapped that he went, so…

Q. Have you been told that you might get a fine for it or not?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. I mean, he was for sure in the moment saying a lot of stuff to me. But it’s okay. It’s just sometimes the crowd need to be respectful, especially at a big major tournament, the US Open, for example. Like I said before, I saw it in the Tipsarevic match, too. The crowd get too into it, too against an opponent, too on one person’s side. It creates energy. The crowd really get into the match. It sometimes can cause problems.

I had problems on the other end, as well, with a few people in the corner. But it’s just they were saying some negative stuff to me, in my language of Serbian-Croatian. The microphones didn’t pick that up. But I obviously caught the blame for that.

Q. Was it something about playing a Bosnian that made this match more heated?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. My mother is Bosnian. Obviously I understand the language. Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, it’s all the same.

I had a bit of problem with the other side of the end with a few people. But that’s okay. They apologized as well to me and they started supporting for me in the fourth set. I was happy to see that as well.

Q. It’s tough for athletes traveling the world. You’re out there all by yourself in hostile settings. Do you think athletes nonetheless have a responsibility to have basic decency and respect or anything goes?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think, you know, we’re in a sport where it’s so respected. Golf, tennis, I think we respect one another and the crowd. If you see golf tournaments, as well, on the side, no one’s yelling, no one’s talking. There’s a lot of quiet there before someone is hitting the swing or stroke.

So is tennis. It’s a very respectful sport. We’re not boxers or MMA fighters that we rip into each other’s throats before the fight. It’s a very respected sport. I think it should be that way.

Q. Do you feel you crossed the line with what you said?
BERNARD TOMIC: I’d like to see what the microphone picked up what he said. But that might not be possible.

 

Venus Williams

Press Conference

V. WILLIAMS/K. Kozlova

6-2, 5-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you assess your play today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, today, the first round is never easy. You’re trying to find a rhythm, get used to the court, you know, play an opponent I never played before.

But it was great to be challenged and to be pushed because I had to get in those situations that you know you’re going to face in the tournament early on. So that felt good to come through.

Q. You looked like you were pretty agile today, all over the court. Has your dancing helped that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No one’s going to pay me to dance (laughter). They’ll pay me to play tennis. I’m going to keep it at that. If it is helping, thank God.

Movement was important today. Of course, courts are a little slow, so you have to have that little extra in the movement or something.

Q. 18 US Opens. You’ve never lost in the first round. How tough is that first match to come out and to be at your peak and make sure you win through against an opponent that you didn’t know much about?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn’t know much about her game at all, literally zero. And it’s hard. The first round is hard. I haven’t played a single match in, like, three weeks. Just getting out there and trying to play perfectly.

I definitely had a lot more errors than I wanted. If I could cut those in half, it’s definitely a different story.

The good part is I’m playing the game I want to play, I’m playing aggressively and moving forward. It’s just about making a few less errors and it’s a completely different story.

Q. When you walk off the court after that second set, what goes through your mind having lost it the way you did, probably wanting to regroup a little bit for the third?
VENUS WILLIAMS: After the second set, I was so motivated, honestly I was ready to play an even more aggressive game. I was ready to play even more aggressively. I think in the beginning of the second, I was just too eager so I had to kind of pull back and try to play smart but still aggressive because the game she plays is just pure defense, it appears, and she does well with it.

Q. It’s been five years since you told us you have the Sjogren’s syndrome. You’ve had a pretty good year. You have to be happy with the year you’ve had.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course. Then as an athlete, you’re always aiming for perfection, you want more and more and more. It’s never enough. That’s what I’m looking forward to, to peak every time I get on the court. That pretty much doesn’t happen ’cause I’m always wanting to be better.

Q. What would you say that you love the most about tennis?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love that I love it. So when you love something, you put the work in. I love the challenge. Definitely I like the pressure. I like the high stakes. All of that makes it just perfect for my personality.

Q. 72 Grand Slam appearances. It’s a record.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Record for people playing?

Q. I think it’s the all-time record.
VENUS WILLIAMS: For what?

Q. 72 Grand Slam appearances.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Hmm (smiling).

Q. In the main draw.
VENUS WILLIAMS: That’s crazy.

Q. What are your thoughts on that? What does it say about your career?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I’m grateful and I’m blessed. All I’m hoping for is just health that I can keep that record going. I don’t know when I’m going to stop playing. I don’t have plans now. I’m playing too well to be thinking about stopping. I appear to be getting better each and every month.

So I’d like to make that record hard for someone to break (smiling).

Where is Serena at? Not far behind?

Q. Not far behind.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not far behind.

Q. You talked about coming off the court after the second set and feeling really motivated. Obviously when you came off after the third and won, you looked very happy. You were hitting the balls up. What goes through your mind at a time like that? Do you think about where you’re hitting them?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really. I was just trying to hit them high. Those fans deserve it. They really put in the time. They really were behind me. Definitely grateful the match was over.

She seemed to play her best from behind. I just wanted to finish that out and use my experience to try to dominate the last game.

Q. You play the game with such joy. Is there any extra sense of excitement when you and Serena are taking Ashe on the same day?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not necessarily because when you’re in the thick of it, you are so focused on that moment. In a lot of ways, you don’t have time to celebrate the moment. You’re, like, focusing because if you don’t, then you will lose the moment and be out of the tournament. So it’s just laser focus the whole time.

Q. You look so elegant, there’s grace there. Today when we asked your mixed doubles partner from Rio what was the quality that most struck him. He said your fierceness, you’re such a fierce athlete. Could you talk about that. Where did that come from?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I told him when we got on the court, I said, It looks like I’m really nice but I’m not (laughter). I think he learned that. Of course, I’m nice, but… I’m an inward person but I’m extremely competitive. I think when you’re a doubles partner with me that’s when you really get to know that side because of the way we’re strategizing and the way we go into the match. I think he got to know that I don’t take a loss for an answer.

Q. Do you think because you’re so inward that somehow helps you? Your fierceness is a little hidden?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everyone’s different. It’s just how I operate. Some people are outward, and they need all that. For me, it works for me. It’s just my personality.

Q. Do you take particular note when there are other siblings in the men’s or women’s draws? The Harrisons, for example, may be the brothers to come through qualifying. Thoughts on that. Do you take particular note?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s really wonderful to have a sibling on tour. I know that Serena and I’s experience is extraordinary, but for us it feels normal. Then we always have our whole family here with us, and that feels normal.

It’s wonderful to know that someone knows exactly what you’re going through. Of course, when you’re playing your opponents, they know what you’re going through. But there’s not an aligned interest, so to speak. Our interests are always aligned. When I’m sitting there in the box, I’m like, I’ve been in that moment. I know what she’s feeling.

Q. At this point in your career do you think you sign more autographs or take more selfies with fans?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Selfies have become an epidemic. You are getting off a plane at 1 a.m., Can I take a selfie? Please, I’m so tired, I don’t want to take a picture right now. I never thought I’d be here in my life. I got to say.

I’m a tennis player, but somehow I’m famous. It’s strange.

Q. There are times when fans struggle to actually get the photo off.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Every time. Every time (laughter).

Q. In the New York Times profile on you, there was one line that struck me, that you’re learning AutoCAD. How does a professional tennis who is pretty busy all the time do that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I did learn AutoCAD, but then I forgot it because I didn’t use it for five years. So then I learned Revit, which is a completely different system. So I probably could work AutoCAD now, but I need to kind of go backwards.

In any case, it’s a random thing in my life. I’m very, very much immersed in the industry.

Q. The commentators were talking about the crowd support tonight. Is that something you recognized as well?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Once I came back from illness, it seemed like the crowd was really, really there for me, on my side. Maybe they related to what I was going through. I definitely saw a big difference once I came back from taking time off and being ill.

Q. Ryan Harrison yesterday said an interesting thing, that he would rather face Novak Djokovic in the tournament than his brother. I presume you have a similar feeling in terms of facing Serena. When there’s a draw, how quickly do you notice where you are in relation to Serena?
VENUS WILLIAMS: So you’re saying I would rather play Novak Djokovic (laughter)? I think the chemicals in our body are completely different. I don’t think I need to be in that position, but…

I don’t know. We’ve been playing each other since day one. I don’t know what their experience has been, but we know we have to play each other. If we didn’t want to play each other, one of us should have ran track or something. So we know it’s going to happen when we get out there. We just get ready for it.

Q. When Serena won here in 1999, she came out and just hit the cover off the ball for seven matches. How different of a player tactically was she in ’99 versus now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I always admired her game. Just so fearless. You can’t teach that. Not only fearless, but execution as well. I had an interesting question for her because, you know, I got to the finals in ’97. I thought, I want to ask her, does she think she could have won that final, because I didn’t even come close. So I wonder if my experiences beforehand helped her to be ready for those sorts of positions. That’s a question I have to ask her.

But I wouldn’t bet against her. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do that.

Thank you, guys. Good night.

 

Juan Martin Del Potro

Press Conference

J. DEL POTRO/D. Schwartzman

6-4, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you describe what it was like to be out there again in front of a crowd that was cheering so loudly for you?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, that’s means big things to myself. I am so glad to be part of this tournament once again after three years. I really appreciate the wild card who give me to have the chance to play, and that’s important for me.

Always, in every match here at the US Open, the crowd make me feels special. I really like the atmospheres down there. They create another things in every court.

It’s amazing for me just having the chance to play here once again.

Q. After the Olympics, how long afterward did you still feel tired from the Olympics? What did you do to try to recover to play here?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, to be honest, I’m still feeling tired, for sure. I couldn’t recovery after Rio because I was at home doing many things, in my hometown as well. We decide to came here on Tuesday, trying to stay focused in this tournament, because is a big tournament as well.

It’s not easy after a big, big challenge like I did in Rio. But this tournament is very special for me. I’m trying to keep calm, to keep focuses, and look forward to go far.

Q. Would you say the reception in Argentina was maybe bigger than when you won the US Open?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think was different because the people in Argentina, in my hometown, they know what has been through to get there after my surgeries. It was a special moments for me. They really appreciate what I did to come back on tennis. They are proud to see me playing tennis again.

I’m very proud to represent my hometown, my country. It was amazing for me at Rio.

Q. I spoke with Diego Schwartzman. He said you hadn’t played that many games before. What did you know about his game?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think he plays well. In the end he started to play much better than at the beginning of the match. It was tough to play because it was really, really hot down there.

He’s a smart player. You know, he runs really fast. I think for this surface, if you don’t have a good serve, you couldn’t take the chance to win the match. And that’s what I did today. Basically in the tiebreak I played smart points and I closed the match there.

Q. Last year before your surgery, could you tell us how close you were to quit or retire? Did you have the time to imagine your life without tennis?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I was really close to quit tennis because after the first surgery, the second one, and in the end the third one, it was really, really sad moments for me. Nobody knows what should I have to fix my problem.

My family and friends help me a lot to never give up. And I think I’m doing well now. The worst part of my life is totally in the past, and I’m living a good present and looking forward for a good future.

Hopefully I couldn’t think what I’m going to do the rest of my life after tennis because now I’m trying to play tennis again. I would like to do this for a few years.

Nick Kyrgios

Press Conference

N. KYRGIOS/A. Bedene

6-4, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you fell about that overall?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m really pleased with that one. He’s a good competitor. He makes a lot of balls. He’s not going to give it to you.

Yeah, I was nursing a little bit of an injury, and I how I responded was really well. I’m really happy. I thought I played solid, returned well, served well, hit the ball well. That was a pretty good all-around performance.

Q. What’s the nature of the injury?
NICK KYRGIOS: It’s my hip. It’s fine at the moment, which is really good.

Q. Is that just after Cincinnati you felt it?
NICK KYRGIOS: I actually upped my training a little bit. Went to Miami, Boca, did a lot of training. Obviously with the US Open I wanted to find my form, and I don’t know, just a bit of a load but it’s okay. It’s nothing to worry about.

Q. How did you find the court compared to last year?
NICK KYRGIOS: I didn’t play on that court last year.

Q. The speed of the courts this year compared to last year?
NICK KYRGIOS: I played on Arthur Ashe last year against Murray, so I don’t think it was the speed of the court, really. I thought the conditions were — you know, I thought they were great serving conditions on that particular court. I like how sort of the barriers are close. Big servers get a lot of confidence.

I thought I had a lot of rhythm, as well. Slow, medium, fast. I don’t know. I’m the worst person to ask that stuff, to be honest.

Q. Do you like when the fans are that close? Bernie was having trouble with a spectator in the crowd. Do you like having a crowd close to you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think the courts are really good. I had my first title in Marseilles, and that was sort of the same sort of setup and I had some good results. Even Atlanta was like that.

I think those courts favor big servers and guys who play big, the court seems a bit slower, for some reason. Have a lot of confidence with the game.

Q. When you hear what people are saying, how much do you have to zone that out?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t really zone it out, to be honest. Some guy was like, Change your clothes, that’s an awful outfit.

I was trying to come up with a comeback. I didn’t want to say anything. He was an old man. He got me this time.

Q. Next opponent. Have you had a chance to check your record when you played him before?
NICK KYRGIOS: Who won? Zeballos?

I haven’t. You know, he obviously beat Florian Mayer, who isn’t an easy player to beat. The guy has been around for a long time, obviously had a couple of injuries or illnesses. I’m not too sure.

He missed a couple years or year or something. Before that he was a guy who was dangerous. He won a title this year, so he can definitely play. I’m guessing it was a hell of a match. I’m not going to do anything different.

Q. If you play on your terms, you think you’ll probably get through?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah.

Q. You mentioned playing Murray on Ashe. Conditions didn’t matter. Do you feel like you have more of a draw to work with your seeding? You should be able to make your way into…
NICK KYRGIOS: My head space last year wasn’t the greatest. I was obviously going through a lot of stuff last year through that whole Montreal thing.

I’m seeded 14 here, so I won’t meet Murray until I’m a hell of a lot further through the draw. I feel comfortable in general on the tennis court. I feel more comfortable in my game against whoever I play. I know what I can do on the tennis court. I have beaten quality players. I’m not afraid of these guys, but I’m aware they all can play some really good tennis.

Q. A random question: Have you ever gotten your haircut at the tournament salon? If not, where do you get it cut?
NICK KYRGIOS: I have. I think the year where I qualified maybe I got it cut there. I can’t remember. I’m sure they do a great job.

I just typed in “barbers” this year. It was like old-school barber shops, indoors and upstairs and stuff. Really good barbers here. I think my hair is important, too.

Q. Have you been impressed with the Manhattan Pokémon landscape?
NICK KYRGIOS: It’s actually pretty solid. I found one that I’m using. It’s good. Real good.

Q. Radar?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m not telling you.

 

Agnieszka Radwanska

Press Conference

A. RADWANSKA/J. Pegula

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Looked like you picked up right where you left off in New Haven. Pretty happy with that performance?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, of course. You know, the most important thing that I have quick, nice first round. Just very happy to have this quick match just to, you know, be ready and fresh for the next one.

Q. You talk about needing to be fresh, to try to get through the first week without too many complications. When matches do start to get complicated, do you start to think about that, Here I go again, stuck in the third set, should have finished this in two, or can you stay focused?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think because we playing a lot, I think every scenario I already did. I played so many matches pretty quick in two sets. There were some Grand Slams that I was really struggling from the first rounds.

So, you know, anything can happen. But, of course, it’s always better to have quick match, have good tennis and be confident with your game. I prefer for sure those kind of matches than those I have to save match points, for example.

Q. Your sister is not in the draw this year. Does it make you enjoy the tournament any less?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, it’s always better if she’s around. Struggling with couple of injuries, so she’s not here main draw. Well, hoping she can be back soon and we going to play most of the tournaments together.

Q. Do you think it’s an advantage to have a sister or brother on tour?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course. I think it’s great to have someone from the family around. You know, we best friends. We very close. It’s always good to have someone who understands you and know how it is how to lose, how to win, how you feel about it afterwards.

It’s always great to have her around.

Q. Do you follow more when you hear about other siblings? Do you follow closely?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course, I follow the scores. I’m really always curious about other matches. But, you know, it’s always nice also to see other siblings playing tennis. It’s always cool.

Q. Are you one of the people who looks at your draw at all, looks ahead, or does your coach tell you match by match who you’re playing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, actually never look at the draw. As we know, anything can happen. I don’t think it’s really necessary. I think the most important thing is just to focus on the match. If you win, then you can look up your next opponent, especially when you have another day to think about it and to prepare.

Q. Do you read the sheets that the tour puts out on records, the match notes? What are you most proud of from the records you’ve read about yourself?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: You mean here?

Q. Just in general before matches.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, it depends. Sometimes it’s really funny to read some statistics that you have no idea about. Sometimes you really surprised. So I like to read those things about myself, other players, other tournaments, scores, wins and records.

It’s always very interesting.

Q. Do you have any New York traditions, something you always do when you’re here?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I like to have this ice cream from this kind of car. I don’t know how you call it.

Q. The trucks?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, the trucks. But it’s always nice just to walk around the city. Always cool. You know, as we know, New York never sleep. It’s always nice to get out from the hotel and forget about tennis for a little bit.

Q. Simona was saying the same thing, she was getting the ice cream from the trucks.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Really?

Q. Do you have a flavor?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes. Well, I like these sprinkles, colorful sprinkles, chocolate ones.

Q. There are a lot of changes at the tournament this year. Is there a court you’re looking to playing on?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, I didn’t play on Grandstand. Of course that would be good to try to play on this court. I think I played on every court in this facility. So I think just the Grandstand is the one I didn’t play.

Q. The ride that you take from Manhattan to the site can vary. It can be short or long. What are you normally doing during that ride?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, sometimes it’s very long. Sometimes I’m just getting nervous I’m going to be late. But when I’m on time, I’m trying to relax. Not much.

Q. Like phone, music, talking?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course, now we have wi-fi in the car so it’s much better. Yes, exactly like you saying, listen to music. Also checking other scores on the way to the courts. So, yeah.

 

Serena Williams

Press Conference

S. WILLIAMS/E. Makarova

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling coming into this? Compared with last year, are you in a better place? Are you more determined? How are you looking at it all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel okay. I mean, I didn’t play as many matches as I would have liked to play, much on the hard court. There’s nothing I can really do about it. I just have to get everything ready for here.

Q. You said on court that you wouldn’t know about your shoulder until tomorrow. Is that kind of the way it’s been, the day after that it gets sore after playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Usually it’s the day of. But as time has progressed, and this past week it’s usually been the day after, so that’s a really positive thing. So, yeah.

Q. What is your takeaway from this first round? Never know what you’re going to have. Tough opponent. Handled it well. Based on your serving stats, looked like your shoulder was feeling pretty good.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I knew today I needed to be focused because I’ve played her. She’s gotten to the semifinals. She goes deep in majors. She knows how to play big matches on big courts. She’s not intimidated. I knew I had to really come out today. It was my only option really.

Q. What were you most pleased with in the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was pleased with my serve because I haven’t been hitting a lot of serves at all. In practice, none of them were going in, so I was definitely excited about that.

Q. What, if any, adjustments did you make or have you had to make at all because of the shoulder in terms of how you hit serves? You just mentioned not hitting as many in practice. But in terms of the mechanics or anything, do you need to make adjustments?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn’t make too many adjustments. I didn’t hit them as hard as I normally hit them. I just went for more placement. I didn’t go for the big 120s, just the regular.

Q. Just about the dress. Are the sleeves part of the whole design? Are they an accessory? What was the idea behind it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s a part of the design. It’s just the latest and greatest accessory. It also is functional, so I think that helps me, especially with my shoulder problems that I’ve been having.

But, yeah, it was originally a part of the design. Just try to create that strong, powerful look on the court.

Q. The dress itself, is there a specific vision for it at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we wanted to focus on the colors. So keep the color black. But there’s lots of pink pops throughout the dress. Yeah, it’s kind of what we were doing.

Q. One of the challenges when you play a great match like that is sustaining and building on it. What do you do going forward to sustain that sharpness?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, I think I can improve a lot. I think I can get a lot better. I feel like there’s much, much more I can do. That’s the only thing I can do is do that.

Q. There’s been a lot of changes at the US Open this year. What do you think about the new stadium?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I love the new stadium. It’s really nice. I’ve practiced on it with it opened and closed, and that’s been really cool, so…

I haven’t seen the new Grandstand yet, but it looks nice on TV (smiling). A lot of changes going on here. I just think it’s all good changes.

Q. Is this tournament a more pleasant experience for you than last year’s was?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I had a great experience last year. I was going for something that no one has done in a really long time. Yeah, it didn’t end out wonderful for me or the way I wanted it to end. But it was all I could do. That’s all I could do.

If I could make the semis this year, I’d be excited about that. I need to at least do something.

Q. With all the changes, one thing that hasn’t changed is the tradition of hitting the balls up to the crowd at the end of the matches. When you do that, what goes through your mind? Do you try to send them to certain people?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I usually pick someone out. They never, never get the ball. Although today, the first time I picked someone out, the guy actually got the ball. That was exciting. That’s all that goes through my mind.

Q. You were asked on court about 1999, that run. If the Serena of today were to play that 1999 version of Serena, how would that match play out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, what year would it be?

Q. It would be whatever year you wanted it to be.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That makes a difference ’cause if I were to go back in time, I don’t think I would win, because I was determined to win in ’99. I don’t think anything could have stopped me that year. I just had this feeling, even before I played the tournament, that I was going to win.

Maybe if it was a different year, I might have more of a chance.

Q. Do you feel like you’re a different tactical player?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel like I’m more tactical now. But I still I have that raw, I don’t care what is your best shot, I’m just going to play my best shot and let’s play tennis attitude. I still have that. But I definitely play with a little more tactic.

Q. Talk about why you were so determined to win in ’99.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I don’t know. I always say this. I just had this feeling I was going to win. I knew it. I’ve never been so sure before or after.

Q. Your movement was exceptionally good tonight. Can you comment on that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it’s all I could do with a shoulder injury, was movement. I couldn’t hit any balls. I wanted to stay fit, so…

I guess that kind of helped me out a little bit.

Q. It looked like you were using some of the cupping therapy that some of the swimmers do in the Olympics. Are you using that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’ve always done that. I didn’t know it was something for recovery. If I go to my lady in Palm Beach, it’s part of acupuncture, I love getting it, it makes me relax. I was like, Wow, you can do that for recovery? I don’t usually do it on the road. I’ve never done it on the road.

But I’m always learning new things. I definitely would love to try it on the road because I love the way it feels. But I never knew you could use it for recovery.

Q. A lot of talk about you retaining the world No. 1. How important is that to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t answer those questions.

Q. You and Venus have and continue to make history. When you both are playing on Ashe on the same day, is there any extra sense of enthusiasm to get out there and compete?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We love playing on Ashe. Playing on the same day is always great. I feel like it’s double the fun. It’s always great to see Venus do well.

Q. Can you actually describe what the cupping feels like.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It feels good. It feels like a suction. It feels like an octopus, although I don’t know what an octopus feels like. I think I snapped once a while back. It looks weird, of the cupping. Yeah, I always do it, but I just did it for fun, so…

But, yeah, so it just feels like it’s suctioning and it just feels good.

Q. (Question regarding the sleeve.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s definitely functional. There’s definitely things in there to keep my muscles warm. Especially because of my shoulder problems, I don’t want it to affect my form, which was happening.

Not only is it cool, but it’s actually functional, so that really was able to work for me.

Q. Are you going to stay with it for a while?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have it in a few designs in the future, so…

Q. Rajeev Ram was asked today what he thought Venus’ greatest quality was. He said her fierceness. What do you think your sister’s greatest attribute is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I would say she also never quits, no matter what. You know, sometimes in doubles I’ll be like, I’m so over this. And she’s just always right in there. It always brings me back to reality. I’m like, Okay, let’s do this, let’s do this.

She’s just such a great fighter.

 

 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Andy Murray

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/L. Rosol

6-3, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You made it look very comfortable. Seemed pretty easy out there for you.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, in the start of the match he had a few chances the first couple of service games. Yeah, he came out going for his shots. Once I got through that, you know, sort of tricky period right at the start where he’s hitting the ball really well, you know, kind of adjusting to the conditions. The arena, it’s quite different playing out there now. It’s a lot louder than most places that we play, so you don’t hear the ball as much. There’s a slightly different sound in there. Once I got through that, I settled down and played, you know, I think a really good match.

Q. Do you think the noise and the atmosphere in there was different to previous years? It seemed there was just a constant hum or noise in the crowd throughout the match.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think last year was similar. You know, I’m assuming it’s to do with the roof. I mean, normally there’s always been noise out there. I think the roof has changed that a little bit.

Q. Can you feed off that, the energy you get from the crowd? I know you like playing here.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think you get used to it as the match goes on. But it is very different. You know, imagine when you go to play on one of the outside courts, it will be quite a significant change.

Q. Any difference with the trajectory of the ball through the air or anything like that?
ANDY MURRAY: I think in the evenings — it was extremely humid tonight. This is nothing, in my opinion, to do with the roof. It’s always been like that in the evenings, a little bit easier to control the ball.

The court is obviously cooler, so it’s staying a little bit lower. It’s not bouncing up as high. During the day that’s obviously quite different. The ball’s bouncing up a lot more, tends to be a little bit harder to control.

Obviously now in there, this is because of the roof, there’s literally no wind at all. It almost has a feel of playing indoors because there’s no wind. It’s, like, perfect conditions to play really.

Q. Five Brits into round two. Did you watch any of the other matches? What did you make of them?
ANDY MURRAY: I saw the first couple of sets of Kyle’s match. That’s been it. I didn’t get to see any of the matches today. Yeah, I mean, Kyle played extremely well. I mean, I practiced with him the day beforehand.

He was hitting the ball good in practice. He’s improving all of the time. To win a match like that in a slam that comfortably against a top player, a guy that’s been at the top for a long time, you know, is a very good sign.

Yeah, it was good for him. Then obviously all the other Brits, obviously Naomi and Laura had a tight match. Dan got through, you know, a tricky one against Ram. Konta has been solid for a long time. Heather has never played so well here.

It’s been, I guess, a pretty good start for the Brits.

Q. You’re third on the list of points won on second serve. Must be pretty happy with that part of your game?
ANDY MURRAY: I served very well tonight. I used good variation on the second serve, as well. But, yeah, first and second serve were very good tonight. That’s something that I worked on a lot. It was good through the grass at Wimbledon. It was important for me.

You know, especially in the final there and the semis, I was really not giving up too many chances. Last week, as well, was the same thing. And in Cincinnati, too. When I serve well, the rest of my game tends to follow.

Q. There didn’t appear to be a semblance of weariness out there. A good week of rest?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it’s tough to get the balance totally right the last week because, you know, I wanted to get used to the conditions but also didn’t want to spend so much time on the court that I came in feeling tired, because it could have been quite easy to do that.

Haven’t been in that position too many times coming into New York. Obviously maybe last year was a little bit similar. You know, kind of tried to learn a little bit from that, as well.

But I felt good out there. You know, didn’t waste too much energy, which is important, because it’s obviously a late finish. It will be a late one by the time I get back and in bed, even though the match, if it had gone four sets, an extra 45 minutes, an hour, becomes pretty late. I’m glad I got it done quickly and I feel all right.

Q. You said on court Ivan has changed having you playing with younger players. Can you explain that.
ANDY MURRAY: It’s best to ask him that. I said, you know, not a whole lot’s changed. But I think having the experience of coaching other players changes things a little bit. You probably learn more from working with different players of different ages.

When we worked together the first time, it’s the first time Ivan had ever coached, as well. Now, having worked with younger players, I think you learn different skills and understand certain things a bit better.

I think with young players especially, you know, you can’t just tell them, You served terrible today. They can take that to heart, and maybe the next day they serve terrible as well because their coach has told them that.

Whereas with I think maybe older players or professionals, it’s maybe a little bit easier to be a little bit more direct.

I just think he’s probably learnt some things working with juniors. He’s a smart guy, obviously a good coach.

Q. Not gone soft, has he?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not on me anyway (smiling).

Q. (Question regarding Novak.)
ANDY MURRAY: I saw the beginning of the match. Looked like he served particularly well at the beginning of the match. Seemed to be hitting the ball well from the back of the court. Just his serve wasn’t so good.

You know, that’s normal. Normally he would have played a little bit more, you know, coming into this. He’s normally done well in Cincinnati, though he’s not won there, he’s normally got to latter stages. Obviously with the early exit at the Olympics, he’s not played loads of matches for the last three weeks or so.

But he seemed fine. He was moving good, hitting the ball good from the back of the court. Just didn’t serve so well. I’m sure that will get better as the tournament goes on.

 

Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:

Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.
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No. 53 Federico Delbonis Surprises No. 2 Andy Murray in Third Round of BNP Paribas Open

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

(March 14, 2016)  INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 2 Andy Murray lost to No. 53 Federico Delbonis 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday in a two-hours and 46 minutes.

The southpaw from Argentina trailed 1-4 to the Brit in the third set, won five of the next six games to serve for the match at 6-5. Murray broke Delbonis’ serve to get to a tiebreak which Delbonis won 7-3 to get the biggest victory of his career. Murray’s loss is the biggest upset of the men’s tournament so far.

“Obviously a tough one to lose in the end, having, you know, kind of fought hard to get myself in a winning position you know, 4-1-up,” Murray said.

“The 4-2 game that I got broken was a tough one in the third set. I was up 30-Love in the game and had a few volleys in that game. You know, he came out with some good passing shots. I could have done a bit more with the volleys maybe.

“But, yeah, I didn’t play a great tiebreak. That was disappointing. Obviously he had the chance to serve it out, and then I got back in there and didn’t play a great breaker.”

Murray has not had a great history at Indian Wells, with his best result coming in 2009 when reached the final. “I think it’s just the conditions here I have just struggled with throughout my career. I have never really felt that I played my best tennis here.

“I have tried and had many different preparations where I’ve got here early and spent a lot of time on the courts, and sometimes I arrive later, like this time from Davis Cup. You know, obviously it takes time to get used to new conditions regardless of where it is, but I have just never really found a way to get comfortable here throughout my career.

“It’s a shame.”

 

Asked if this was his biggest win, Delbonis said: “No, I have like a couple of big wins, but in situation was special, you know. For that tournament, for that surface, for me is the best win.

“And, well, I have — I was like quiet all the match that I know he wants to be aggressive in that third set. I don’t do it my job until the 4-1. I have to play it more to his forehand.

“That, when I do that, I can break. I can play from the 4-2 to the tiebreak and I get a big win for that, you know.

“I have another one (win). The title in Sao Paulo I think is the best one.”

Delbonis did beat Roger Federer when he was No. 5 in the world three years ago in Hamburg.

Asked about his strategy to hit to Murray’s forehand, the Argentine commented: I know that his backhand is pretty good when he’s quiet, you know, in one side. I know that I have to play, hit harder in his forehand to get a good hit or a good position the court, to be aggressive or to move it to him, because this is one of the keys to get a good point.”

“I feel good the surface because it’s not too fast,” he said. “For me, I can slice in that kind of court. I like it. Also, I like it in Australia. Every tournament I come this year I like it so much. I like to play in that kind of court, in that hard courts not so fast.

“For me it’s a good court to be aggressive.”

For Murray, this is the first tournament he has played as a father. February 7, his wife Kim gave birth to a baby girl named Sophia.

A couple of surprises on the women’s side of the draw included former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, seeded 14 lost to 18th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-0 and No. 7 Belinda Bencic was on the short end of a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 score to unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova. With all of the upsets on the women’s side, No. 9 seed Roberta Vinci, who beat 17th seed Elina Svitolina, remains the highest seed in the bottom half of the draw.

On the men’s side of the draw, No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet won 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 over Alexandr Dolgopolov. No. 12 seed Milos Raonic advanced when 17th seed Bernard Tomic retired with a right wrist injury down. 6-2, 3-0. Tomic’s injury puts a question mark on his participation at the Miami Open.

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Davis Cup: Isner “Aces” Australia, Powers U.S. to Quarterfinals with Victory over Tomic

DAVIS CUP: ISNER “ACES” AUSTRALIA

Powers U.S. to Quarterfinals with victory over Tomic

By Junior Williams

(March 6, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – John Isner blasted 49 aces – including one on match point – to give the United States a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4) victory over Bernard Tomic and Australia, securing an unassailable 3-1 lead and advancing into the quarterfinal round of the Davis Cup World Group.

In the first set, Isner took advantage of his first break point opportunity with a successful backhand volley, putting the U.S. up 3-2.

The world No. 11 finished the set with ten aces and won all six of his net points.

Isner’s next break of serve came in the second set when Tomic netted a return from the American, resulting in a 4-3 U.S. lead. Tomic shook his right wrist numerous times during that game and had it wrapped during the changeover. Isner went on to win the set after a Tomic volley at net went wide.

The momentum shifted in the third set, when Tomic began impersonating a backboard, successfully defending against the Isner serve. The world number 24 secured the set on his fifth break point of the game, giving hope to a home crowd cheering for a comeback.

But in the end, Isner pulled through after being down a mini-break early in the fourth-set tiebreak, rebounding to go up 5-4 – putting the match on his racket.

It was only fitting that he closed out the match — and the tie — with his 49th ace.

”We always knew it was going to be very difficult coming down here,” said U.S. captain Jim Courier. ”Our team came good. John stepped up today.”

“It was incredible tie for us,” Isner said. “We knew Australia was going to be tough and they put up a great fight.”

With the victory, The U.S. avoided a fifth and deciding rubber that the Aussie faithful at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club had been hoping for: A potential match-up between American Jack Sock and Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt.

Halfway through the second set Tomic was picked up on a court microphone berating his countryman Nick Kyrgios who could not play the tie due to a virus. Tomic said to Hewitt during a changeover: “While I’m here, Nick’s sitting down in Canberra. Bull**** he’s sick.”

Next up for the U.S. A home tie in July against the winner of the first round tie between Belgium and Croatia.

***************************************************************************************************

Some irony involving the U.S. victory over Australia: International Tennis Federation admitted the tie should have played on hard court instead of on grass. That’s because of an agreement in 1999 to have the Aussies play the Americans in the U.S. that year to celebrate the Davis Cup centennial – this despite it being Australia’s turn to host a tie between the two countries.

 

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Melbourne covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Australia.

 

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Davis Cup: Deadlocked Down Under, USA and Australia Tied at 1-1

 

DAVIS CUP: DEADLOCKED DOWN UNDER

U.S., Australia tied at 1-1 in World Group First Round

 

By Junior Williams

(March 4, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – On a sizzling hot afternoon which saw temperatures surge close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Bernard Tomic defeated Jack Sock 7-6(2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, to bring Australia even with the United States at 1-1 in their Davis Cup World Group First Round tie at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Tomic’s victory came after American John Isner dispatched Sam Groth 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-2 to give the U.S. an early lead.

It was a tight but impressive first set for Tomic, who won all 22 of his first serve points. His ball striking and defense of Sock’s ground strokes also gave the Australian the edge.

The world’s 20th-ranked player continued his momentum in the second set, securing it by breaking Sock with a shot that handcuffed the American on what was the fifth set point.

Sock bounced back in the third set, breaking Tomic for the first time in the match after the Australian mishit a ball past the baseline. The world number 24 also broke Tomic in the final game of the set.

But Tomic — who was 0-3 head-to-head against Sock prior to this match — took control in the fourth set, going up 5-4 winning a break point after rocketing a deep return of serve that Sock hit into the net.

Tomic closed out the 2 hour 24-minute match in the following game, to the delight of the home crowd. He won 120 points to Sock’s 114.

“It was very tough out there,” Tomic said. “I haven’t beaten Sock before so I knew that it was going to be tough. Anyone that you haven’t beaten before in your career – I think he’s on 2 or 3-0 record against me. So, for me I knew it was going to be tough but also playing him on a surface where I could beat him on and I was very happy because the conditions were very tough because I travelled so quickly here and you have to reset and you only have two or three days. So for me it was very tough out there.”

The top Australian admitted that it was difficult to get through the fourth set: “It was very tough because I had chances to be up a break in the third and then he got that break and it became a little bit hotter and after playing those first two sets everything got to me. So I had to find a bit of that energy and sometimes that’s good, I mean, I lapse away with my concentration a lot and that, to me, is a good thing because you rebuild your energy and it worked out in my favour in that fourth set. Gee, can you listen to that rain? I swear I finished and three minutes later it started.”

“Bernie did really well,” said Australian Davis Cup Captain Lleyton Hewitt. “Right from the start he came out serving great, hitting his spots really well. That was obviously a key to not let Jack get into too many of Bernie’s service games and we felt like Bernie’s going to get a lot more into his and put a lot more pressure on his second serve and he was able to do that. Bernie, the first set was a huge key as well and he played a great tie break, he picked the right side on a couple of shots and came up with a couple big passes and to have that first set, you know, it was hot out there as well especially those first couple of sets and once he went two sets to love up, he had a little lull there, which, you know, it happens in any five set matches. It’s about how you respond to that and he found a way in the fourth set. It’s not an easy thing to do to come out when you’re the number one player for your country and you’re one love down in Davis Cup in a World Group match. Bernie did fantastic today and he’s done absolutely everything that we’ve asked of him all week.”

“Bernie played some good tennis today when he needed to and came up with some good shots and, I’ll just take away you know the things I need to work on from that and take it into Sunday,” Sock said in press.

“Well we were put on grass, that’s the biggest difference I would say. I’ve played him on some slow hardcourts and some other hardcourts where you know my style definitely matches up well against and you know, his favourite surface is grass. His best results, you know, in the Slam are on grass and very crafty out there and his game is suitable for it. But, you know, I was in there and I felt confident after getting that third and then having a few chances early in the fourth, definitely felt like I was right. So, you know, for me my least experience has been on grass, so for me it actually did take away some confidence today playing out there against an experienced grass player and I’ll definitely use that for Sunday.”

In the opening match — a battle of high-powered servers — John Isner hit 20 aces and held serve throughout the match, despite six break point opportunities for Sam Groth, who was tapped to play singles for Australia after Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the competition due to illness.

The first set included a lot of what you’d expect, with eleven aces for Groth and ten for Isner. Groth also sprinkled in some doubles skills, winning four out of six net points. But Isner won a first set tiebreak, helped by a successful challenge that gave him a mini-break, and an ace up the middle to capture the set.

After that it was all Isner. Aside from his service game, the world No. 11 consistently cracked forehand and backhand winners up the sidelines. He also was helped by Groth’s first-serve percentage of 48-percent in the second set. The Georgia Bulldog notched his victory in 1 hour 49 minutes.

“It was a lot of confidence, you know, getting through that first set, I mean, I knew I was going to go out there, I knew I wasn’t going to be feeling fantastic right away,” Isner said. “Of course there’s a lot of nerves and you know, I haven’t seen his serve yet. So I got rid of those nerves in the first set and I got used to seeing the serve out there, so I became a lot more comfortable after that first set and I think it showed right away. I believe I broke the first game of the second set.

“So it was a very, very good performance for me and certainly I’ve played some matches in a lot in my career where I’ve struggled on return but I think today I was pretty solid.”

Isner commented on the court conditions with temperatures close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. “Yeah I thought the court was great, he said. “The heat was pretty hot. It was more humid than I’ve ever played in Melbourne it’s generally dryer in my opinion, but it was pretty humid. At the same time in a match up like that, you tell me how many rallies we had more than five shots, so it could have been 200 degrees out there and I probably would have felt all right.”

“I think the first set was always going to be big, especially in the way we both play, we both play with a little bit of confidence, both play behind our serve and especially on a day where it’s quite hot out there as well,” Groth said. “You know, had I maybe taken a chance, that 0-40 game earlier, maybe it’s a different story but I felt like after that when he won that back-hand winner that clipped the line in the tie breaker and then his confidence just seemed to build. He started taking cuts on returns and, you know, to his credit they started going in.”

The tie now moves to doubles Saturday. Future Hall of Famers Bob and Mike Bryan are slated for the U.S., with Groth and doubles specialist John Peers scheduled to go for Australia.

But the watch is on to see if captain Lleyton Hewitt will put himself in the mix for the green and gold.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Melbourne covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Australia.

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Lleyton Hewitt on Standby as a Playing Captain to Replace an Ill Nick Kyrgios in Davis Cup Tie

(March 3, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – Lleyton Hewitt, who just retired from professional tennis at his home country’s major in January looks as though his career will continue. Hewitt, the 35-year-old former No. 1, who is making his debut as Australia’s Davis Cup Captain, will be a playing captain due to Nick Kyrgios who has been ill with a virus and can’t participate. Hewitt is officially on standby to play the tie against the United States in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group this weekend to be played at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Hewitt is Australia’s most accomplished Davis Cup player winning 58 of the 78 singles and doubles matches in his career.

“We took him (Nick Kyrgios) through his paces this morning and gave him a little fitness test to see how he pulled up from yesterday, but he just wasn’t fit enough to play this weekend,” Hewitt said. “It’s bad timing for us but it was really out of our hands and the end.”
“The illness is a kind of an unknown a little bit. You just don’t know,” Hewitt said “But obviously before nine o’clock this morning we had to make the best possible decision for the team, and we were dealing with Nick on everything. He wanted to put his hand up and certainly didn’t want to let the team down, and that’s why it was a tough decision for everyone involved.”

The draw for the tie took place in Kooyong on Thursday where Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth and John Peers were officially named to team Australia. Friday will see No. 1 U.S. player John Isner play Groth, followed by Australia’s top player Tomic face Jack Sock. Doubles day on Saturday as the Bryan Brothers are scheduled to play John Peers and Sam Groth. Sundya will be reverse singles – Isner versus Tomic and Groth against Sock.

U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier said he was not shocked to see Hewitt change the team.

“I wouldn’t say we are surprised given that we saw Lleyton practicing this week and Nick’s pretty conspicuous absence,” he said. “It is certainly not something coming to Australia that we were anticipating though. Nick is a very tough player who is on a high now with his results. However, Sam is a very capable grass court player and we won’t take him lightly for one second.

“I am sure that Lleyton will do whatever is best for his team. That’s his role. He is very aware of doing whatever is required to give him the best chance to win. He knows how everyone is feeling with health and length of matches. There are all types of combinations that could bring him to the court. That will be his call and we will be prepared.”

Jack Sock says he’s ready to take on friend Tomic on Friday. “It is going to be a very competitive and fiery match. He has had great results in Davis Cup and this is just my second tie, but we also played each other a few times in the past. It is a different scenario in Davis Cup, but I think the matches in the past will help me with my confidence and how to go about the match. We have always had some close matches and it comes down to a few points here or there. He is definitely playing some great tennis right now with some good results this year.”

Australia and the United States will be meeting for the 46th time. The U.S. team leads 25-20, last competing against the Aussies in the 1999 quarterfinals, when Australia won and went on take the Davis Cup title. The U.S. and Australia are the two leading nations with the most Davis Cup titles, 32 and 28 respectively.

Weekend Line-up

DAY/LOCAL MATCH TIME                  EVENT                    DETAILS/PAIRING

Friday, 11:00 a.m.                                   Singles A:                John Isner (USA) vs. Sam Groth (AUS)

Singles B:                Jack Sock (USA) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Saturday, 12:00 p.m.                               Doubles:                  Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Sam Groth/John Peers (AUS)

Sunday, 11:00 a.m.                                 Singles C:                John Isner (USA) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Singles D:                Jack Sock (USA) vs. Sam Groth (AUS)

 

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Australia Takes On U. S. in Davis Cup This Weekend in Kooyong

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Australia Takes On U. S. in Davis Cup This Weekend in Kooyong

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

(March 1, 2016) The United States will take on Australia in the Davis Cup World Group First Round this weekend at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Kooyong, Australia, from March 4-6 on a temporary grass court. The club was the former home to the Australian Open from 1972- 1987. The U.S. has met Australia more times than any other nation in Davis Cup play. The U.S. leads the head-to-head series 25-20.

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, who retired at this year’s Australian Open will be making his debut as Australia’s Davis Cup captain. Hewitt has named world No. 20 Bernard Tomic, world No. 27 Nick Kyrgios, world No. 77 Sam Groth, and doubles specialist John Peers to team Australia.

Tomic holds a 15-3 singles record in Davis Cup competition, Kyrgios is 3-3 and Groth is 2-1 in singles and 1-2 in doubles. Peers is making his Davis Cup debut.

United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier has chosen top-ranked American and world No. 11 John Isner, world No. 24 Jack Sock, and 16-time major doubles champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan to the U.S. Davis Cup Team. Isner is 8-9 singles in Davis Cup competition. Sock made his debut on the U.S. team last year in the World Group Playoff, where he won both of his singles matches, becoming the first American since John McEnroe in 1978 to win two live rubbers in a Davis Cup debut. Bob and Mike Bryan are a dominant 23-4 in Davis Cup doubles together and are the all-time winningest U.S. Davis Cup doubles team in history.

Both teams held a pre-draw news conference on Tuesday, the draw will be made on Thursday.

Kyrgios was absent from the news conference due to a virus said Captain Hewitt who told him to rest: “Nick has a virus. At the moment, he is taking it easy and trying to get over that 100% to be ready to go. I didn’t want him around the other boys if he is a bit infectious. It is more of a precaution. He will be ready.

“Nick has played a lot of matches, as well as Bernie. They are coming in confident with their ball striking and it is about these guys doing the small things to feel comfortable on the grass courts. Come match day, I am backing both of these boys.”

 

“I am lucky with both of these guys (Kyrgios and Tomic),” Hewitt said. “Both of their games suit grass with big serves and good returns. The reason both boys are approaching career-high rankings right now is because of their serves. That will be a big point this weekend because the U.S. team serves well, too. It will come down to a few points here or there, just like any grass-court five-set match, but I am glad our boys have won quite a few matches in the last month.”

Tomic is back from just having played the final of Acapulco over the weekend.

“It was tough to play a final then fly here,” Tomic admitted. It was tough to get here, but I am happy to be here. The hit today was good and now on grass, I need to get as ready as I can.

“It is tough to say if I will be 100% by Friday, but there will not be a lot of rallies. There will be quick points. I am serving really well and playing very confidently. I just played one of my biggest tournaments and I am very happy with the way I am playing and will be ready for the show on Friday”

On making the transition to being a captain from a player, Hewitt said: “I have adjusted pretty smoothly. This week has been all about getting these boys on the practice courts and working out drills. It has been good this week, especially with doubles, and learning what times to say something and other times not to say so much. I have been a good hitting partner.”

U.S. Captain Courier reacted to Hewitt’s comments about Australia being the underdog: “It doesn’t matter one bit. We are the away team and we travelled to get here. The crowd will be behind them. We are here to play whether it is as an underdog or overdog. None of that matters, which I wish it did. We have to go to battle and play.

“We have to get through the first tie, but our draw is more favorable this year than it has been,” said Courier in discussing the outlook for the U. S. in Davis Cup competition this year. “Second round matchups are not easy, but it is easier than some other teams for us. But, you cannot look past anyone in Davis Cup and we have learned that the hard way. You have to put one foot in front of the other and this will be a tough tie for us.”

“Jack (Sock) had a great debut as a Davis Cup player in Uzbekistan last year and that is big part of why he is here. We have a lot of confidence in what he brings to the table and he is getting valuable experience here. We have some younger players that have had good success in the juniors that is translating to the pros. It is nice to feel that energy coming up below our best players.”

“Every point is huge,” said Isner. “I have been playing Davis Cup for quite a bit, but not nearly as long as the Bryans. Jack is a bit newer at this. There is certainly pressure on every player that is competing this weekend and we know that. I don’t think there is any extra pressure on me by any means.

I am preparing for the team that has been submitted. It can change come Thursday, but as of right now, I am prepared for all of them.”

Sock discussed the challenge of taking on Tomic and Kygios this weekend.

On facing Bernard Tomic, Sock said: “We are good friends. We have spent some time together in our careers. However, in any setting on the court, we go out there and you put that aside and compete. Afterwards, you are still pretty good friends, but when it is on the court, that doesn’t really enter your mind.

He has always been a good player. He is consistently staying more professional and working on the things he needs to do and that is why his results are showing.”

As for Kyrgios: “Similar to Bernie, I am friends with Nick, but when you step on the court, it is about the tennis and playing each other.

“When you are off the court, you can still be friends. When you are out there playing, that is the only thing that matters—especially this weekend when you are representing your country. It gives me all the more reason to go out there and compete as hard as I can.”

The winner of this tie moves into the World Group Quarterfinal, July 15-17, and will play either Croatia or Belgium. The tie will air on Tennis Channel in the United States.

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Dominic Thiem and Sloane Stephens Win Singles Titles in Acapulco

Dominic Thiem and Sloane Stephens won the singles titles at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco on Saturday night.

Theim defeated Bernard Tomic 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3, while Stephens took 3 hours and five minutes for an epic struggle of a victory over former Acapulco champion Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5).

For the Austrian Thiem, who went 13-1 for the month of February, it was his fifth career ATP World Tour title, his first not on clay. He won the Buenos Aires title a week ago.

For Sloane Stephens, it was her third WTA tournament victory and second of 2016. She also won in Auckland.

“It was unbelievable,” said the Austrian. “These three weeks have been amazing. Winning my first 500 title and first hard-court title, it was just perfect. It was how a final should be, between two young and up-and-coming players. I hope we’re going to play many more finals together. Both of us wanted to win so badly and I’m happy I was the one today.”

“It’s not easy, I’d love to win,” Tomic commented. “It could have been huge if I won, but I had a chance. That’s the biggest disappointment, having the chance to win. I’m frustrated with myself… I was leading in the first set and then I lost it and I was up a break in the third and gave away my serve straight away.

“But he was playing very well and he’s an amazing competitor. Every point he’s competing. He was feeling good on court and has been playing well all week. In the final of big tournaments, you have to take your chances in the big moments. I didn’t take it.”

The 22-year-old Thiem will move up the rankings to a career high No. 14.

The final was the third on the ATP World Tour to feature players born in the 1990s. Thiem has been involved with all three.

In men’s doubles, former World No. 1 Max Mirnyi is just two match wins away from joining the ‘700 Club’ winning his first title with Treat Huey. For Mirnyi it’s his 49th doubles title, seventh for Huey.

“It was a tough first round match against Guccione and Tomic and we somehow came out with the win there 14-12 in the tie-break,” Huey said. “We took a lot of momentum from that. I was feeling pretty sick the first few days and could barely get out of bed, but as Max said we just need to find a way. We did and we’ve been playing great tennis all week. It’s great to win a title and we’re having fun. The tournament here in Acapulco is unbelievable.”

“I told Treat that even though we’ve only been together for two months, we’ve been through a lot,” Mirnyi explained. “We’ve improved on our teamwork and things we need to do. Luckily today, in a big tournament like Acapulco, everything clicked. We played well at the same time which was important.”

“I got a little bit better today because of her, and I wouldn’t want to have this memory with anyone else,” Stephens said about her opponent Cibulkova during her trophy ceremony.

Stephens is perfect in finals at 3-0.

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2016 Australian Open – Day 2 Men’s Preview

Rod Laver Arena

2016 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 2 MEN’S NOTES

Tuesday 19 January

1st Round Bottom Half

Featured matches

 

No. 2 Andy Murray (GBR) v Alexander Zverev (GER)
No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)

No. 5 Rafael Nadal (ESP) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
No. 8 David Ferrer (ESP) v (Q) Peter Gojowczyk (GER)

No. 13 Milos Raonic (CAN) v Lucas Pouille (FRA)

No. 16 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Denis Istomin (UZB)

(WC) James Duckworth (AUS) v (WC) Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)

Adrian Mannarino (FRA) v Sam Groth (AUS)

 

On court today…

 

  • Former Australian Open champions Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka begin their latest Melbourne campaigns today. Nadal faces a repeat of his epic 2009 semifinal against Fernarndo Verdasco, which lasted 5 hours 14 minutes and preceded his only title in Melbourne, in the 3rd match on Rod Laver Arena. Wawrinka, meanwhile, heads to Margaret Court Arena to take on Dmitry Tursunov, who is contesting his first Grand Slam match since the 2014 US Open after 13 months on the sidelines with a foot injury.

 

  • Andy Murray, a 4-time runner-up here in Melbourne, begins his 40th Grand Slam with a 1st round clash against Alexander Zverev in the 2nd match on Margaret Court Arena. The pair met for the first time at the Hopman Cup earlier this month, with the 2-time Grand Slam champion defeating 18-year-old Zverev in straight sets.

 

  • Both the youngest and oldest players to start in the men’s main draw are in action today. Qualifier Taylor Fritz, aged 18 years 95 days, begins his Australian Open campaign against fellow American and No. 25 seed Jack Sock in the 4th match on Court 14. Qualifier Radek Stepanek, aged 37 years 65 days, will bid to become the oldest man to win a match at the Australian Open since Bob Carmichael (38 years 183 days) and Ken Rosewall (44 years 62 days) in 1978, when he takes on qualifier Tatsuma Ito in the 4th match on Court 20.

 

  • Lleyton Hewitt begins his final Australian Open against compatriot James Duckworth in the night match on Rod Laver Arena. It’s a 20th straight appearance at Melbourne Park for Hewitt, which puts him in equal-4th place on the list for most appearances at a single Grand Slam. Hewitt and Duckworth are 2 of the 7 Aussies in action today.

 

 

NO. 2 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v ALEXANDER ZVEREV (GER)

Head-to-head: first meeting

2016     Hopman Cup                Hard (I)            R2        Murray             63 64

 

MURRAY                                       v                                        ZVEREV

 

28                                          Age                                          18

2                             ATP Ranking (18 Jan)                            83

35                                         Titles                                          0

153-37                     Career Grand Slam Record                       1-2

39-10                        Australian Open Record                          0-0

552-165                              Career Record                               18-24

374-107                        Career Record – Hard                           5-11

0-0                                   2016 Record                                   0-0

0-0                              2016 Record – Hard                              0-0

18-7                          Career Five-Set Record                          1-1

8                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

157-98                       Career Tiebreak Record                         8-12

0-0                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • 4-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is contesting his 11th straight Australian Open and 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 4 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Federer, at Roland Garros, and Ivan Lendl, at the US Open, are the only players to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title in the Open Era.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2015, Murray reached the semifinals at Roland Garros (l. Djokovic) and Wimbledon (l. Federer). He fell to Kevin Anderson in the round of 16 at the US Open – the first time he had lost before the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since the 2010 US Open.

 

  • Also in 2015, Murray won 4 titles including his first titles on clay at Munich (d. Philipp Kohlschreiber), where he became the first British player to win a Tour-level clay court title since Buster Mottram at 1976 Palma, and Madrid-1000 (d. Rafael Nadal). He also won the title at Queen’s (d. Anderson) and Montreal-1000
    (d. Djokovic).

 

  • Murray has not lost a 1st round Grand Slam match since the 2008 Australian Open (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga).

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup. He won 2 of his 3 singles matches in Perth, defeating Kenny de Schepper and today’s opponent, but losing to Nick Kyrgios.

 

  • If he wins today, Murray will take sole occupancy of 8th place on the list for the most Australian Open match-wins in the Open Era. He is currently level with Wayne Ferreira on 39 wins at Melbourne Park. If he reaches the final here, he would tie Pete Sampras in 7th place on 45 wins.

 

  • Murray is one of 7 Grand Slam champions to start in the men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic).

 

  • Murray is coached by 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo.

 

  • ZVEREV is looking to reach the 2nd round here on his Australian Open debut and equal his best Grand Slam performance.

 

  • Zverev is making his 3rd appearance at a Grand Slam. He reached the 2nd round on his Grand Slam debut at 2015 Wimbledon (d. Teymuraz Gabashvili, l. Denis Kudla) and fell in the 1st round as a qualifier at the 2015 US Open (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber). He has attempted to qualify for the majors on 3 other occasions, including unsuccessfully here in 2015.

 

  • Zverev’s best Tour-level result in 2015 was reaching the semifinals at Bastad (l. Tommy Robredo) and the quarterfinals at Washington (l. Marin Cilic). He also won the title at the Heilbronn Challenger (GER)
    (d. Guido Pella), breaking the Top 100 at No. 85 for the first time as a result. He reached a career-high ranking of No. 74 in June 2015 but plays here at No. 83.

 

  • Zverev warmed up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup, where he won 1 of his 3 matches – defeating Kenny de Schepper but losing to Nick Kyrgios and today’s opponent.

 

  • Zverev is a former junior world No. 1. He was named 2013 ITF Junior World Champion and went on to win the boys’ singles title at the 2014 Australian Open (d. Stefan Kozlov). He also finished runner-up in the boys’ singles at 2013 Roland Garros and helped Germany reach the 2013 Junior Davis Cup Final (l. Spain).

 

  • Zverev is one of 8 former junior Australian Open champions in this year’s men’s main draw. Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era.

 

  • Zverev received the ATP Star of Tomorrow Award in 2015 for being the youngest player in the Top 100. At 2014 Hamburg he became the youngest player ever to reach an ATP 500 semifinal aged 17, falling to David Ferrer.

 

  • Zverev’s brother, Mischa, attempted to qualify for the Australian Open, falling to Taylor Fritz in the final round of qualifying.

 

  • Zverev is coached by his father, Alexander Zverev Sr. His physical trainer is Jez Green, who used to work with Murray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v DMITRY TURSUNOV (RUS)

Head-to-head: tied 1-1

2008     Sydney                         Hard (O)           R32      Tursunov          63 63

2013     Kuala Lumpur               Hard (I)            QF       Wawrinka         26 63 76(3)

 

A 3rd career meeting between the 2 players. Tursunov won their only meeting in Australia 8 years ago.

 

WAWRINKA                                     v                                     TURSUNOV

 

30                                          Age                                          33

4                             ATP Ranking (18 Jan)                             –

12                                         Titles                                          7

103-41                     Career Grand Slam Record                      38-40

28-9                         Australian Open Record                          5-8

397-234                              Career Record                              229-207

214-128                        Career Record – Hard                        150-132

4-0                                   2016 Record                                   0-0

4-0                              2016 Record – Hard                              0-0

22-18                         Career Five-Set Record                          12-8

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         3

157-155                      Career Tiebreak Record                       110-88

0-0                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA has never lost in the 1st round here. This is his 11th Australian Open appearance and his 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • The last time Wawrinka lost in the 1st round at a Grand Slam was at 2014 Roland Garros, when as No. 3 seed he was defeated by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. He was the first reigning Australian Open champion to lost in the 1st round of the subsequent Roland Garros since Petr Korda in 1998.

 

  • Last year here as defending champion Wawrinka reached the semifinals, losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic 76(1) 36 64 46 60.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka won his 2nd Grand Slam title as No. 8 seed at 2015 Roland Garros. He became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros after defeating No. 1 seed Djokovic 46 64 63 64 in the final. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2015, Wawrinka reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon (l. Richard Gasquet) and the semifinals at the US Open (l. Roger Federer). It was the first time he had reached the quarterfinals at all 4 Grand Slams in a calendar year.

 

  • Wawrinka had a career-best season in 2015. As well as winning his 2nd Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, he also won the titles at Chennai (d. Aljaz Bedene), Rotterdam (d. Tomas Berdych) and Tokyo
    (d. Benoit Paire). It was the first time he has won 4 titles in a single season. He also reached 5 further semifinals.

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by successfully defending his title at Chennai. He defeated Borna Coric in the final. It was his 12th career title and 4th at Chennai, having also won there in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

 

  • Wawrinka is currently working with Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • TURSUNOV is contesting his first Grand Slam match since the 2014 US Open and is looking for his first Grand Slam match-win since 2014 Roland Garros.

 

  • Tursunov spent 13 months out of the game due to a left foot injury after the 2014 US Open, making his comeback at 2015 Moscow where he failed to qualify in singles but won the doubles title as a wild card with Andrey Rublev. He has played just 2 other events since then, losing in the 1st round at the Ortisei Challenger (ITA) in November 2015 and in the final round of qualifying for the Bangkok Challenger
    (l. Frederik Nielsen) prior to coming here.

 

  • Tursunov is bidding to record his first Tour-level match-win since 2014 ’s-Hertogenbosch, when he defeated Bradley Klahn in the 1st round before giving a walkover to Thiemo De Bakker due to a left foot injury.

 

  • Tursunov is bidding to reach the 2nd round here for the 5th time. His best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round as No. 21 seed in 2007 (l. Tomas Berdych). He fell in the 2nd round on his last appearance at Melbourne Park in 2014 (d. Michael Russell, l. Denis Istomin).

 

  • Tursunov’s best Grand Slam performance is 2 round of 16 finishes at Wimbledon in 2005 (l. Sebastien Grosjean) and as No. 27 seed in 2006 (l. Jarkko Nieminen). This is his 9th Australian Open and his 41st Grand Slam appearance.

 

  • Tursunov is bidding to end a 3-match losing streak at the Grand Slams. He has not won a match at a major since reaching the 3rd round at 2014 Roland Garros (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Tursunov is a former Top 20 player, having reached a career-high ranking of No. 20 in October 2006, after winning his first career title at 2006 Mumbai (d. Berdych). He plays here on a protected ranking of No. 89.

 

  • Tursunov is a 7-time singles titlist. 5 of his 7 career singles titles have come on hard court – with his last title on the surface coming at 2008 Metz.

 

  • Tursunov is on an 8-match losing streak against Top 10 players. The last time he defeated a Top 10 player was at 2013 Cincinnati-1000 when he defeated No. 4 David Ferrer. He is bidding for his 3rd victory over a Top 10 player at a major – and his first since he defeated No. 4 Ivan Ljubicic at 2006 Wimbledon.

 

  • Tursunov entered the men’s doubles here with Alexandr Dolgopolov. The pair will play No. 16 seeds Pablo Cuevas/Marcel Granollers in the 1st round. Tursunov has won 7 career doubles titles.

 

  • Tursunov is coached by Vitaly Gorin at the Gorin Tennis Academy in Sacramento. His fitness trainer is Jason Stacy.

 

 

5 RAFAEL NADAL (ESP) v FERNANDO VERDASCO (ESP)

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 14-2

2005     Doha                            Hard (O)           R16      Nadal               62 64

2005     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)           R32      Nadal               62 62

2005     Stuttgart                       Clay (O)           R16      Nadal               63 62

2006     Queen’s                        Grass (O)         R16      Nadal               26 76(3) 76(3)

2007     AMS Indian Wells         Hard (O)           R32      Nadal               64 64

2008     Roland Garros             Clay (O)           R16      Nadal               61 60 62

2009     Australian Open          Hard (O)          SF        Nadal               67(4) 64 76(2) 67(1) 64

2009     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)           QF       Nadal               63 63

2009     Madrid-1000                 Clay (O)           QF       Nadal               64 75

2010     Monte Carlo-1000         Clay (O)           FR        Nadal               60 61

2010     US Open                      Hard (O)          QF       Nadal               75 63 64

2011     Cincinnati-1000             Hard (O)           R16      Nadal               76(5) 67(4) 76(9)

2012     Barcelona                     Clay (O)           SF        Nadal               60 64

2012     Madrid-1000                 Clay (O)           R16      Verdasco          63 36 75

2015     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           R32      Verdasco          64 26 63

2015     Hamburg                      Clay (O)           R32      Nadal               36 61 61

 

Nadal and Verdasco have met at the Australian Open once before in the 2009 semifinals – their epic 5-set match lasted for 5 hours 14 minutes and is the 2nd longest match (in terms of duration) in Australian Open history. Nadal went on to win his only Australian Open title that year while for Verdasco it is his best Grand Slam performance and saw him break the Top 10 for the first time as a result. This is a 4th Grand Slam meeting for the 2 players but their first since the 2010 US Open.

 

Nadal leads the head-to-head 14-2 but Verdasco has won 2 of their last 3 match-ups, ending a 13-match losing streak to Nadal at 2012 Madrid-1000. Nadal has also won 6 of their 7 hard court encounters and all of their previous meetings at the majors.

 

Nadal and Verdasco are 2 of the 16 lefthanders to start in the men’s main draw. Nadal was the last lefthander to win the title here in 2009. They are also 2 of the 15 Spanish men to start in this year’s draw. Spain has the highest representation of any nation here.

 

NADAL                                         v                                     VERDASCO

 

29                                          Age                                          32

5                             ATP Ranking (18 Jan)                            45

67                                         Titles                                          6

198-29                     Career Grand Slam Record                      91-50

45-9                         Australian Open Record                        20-12

771-161                              Career Record                              430-311

367-108                        Career Record – Hard                        195-164

4-1                                   2016 Record                                   1-1

4-1                              2016 Record – Hard                              1-1

17-6                          Career Five-Set Record                         21-18

3                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         5

192-120                      Career Tiebreak Record                      164-173

0-1                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

  • 2009 champion NADAL is bidding to maintain his record of always having reached the 2nd round at the Australian Open. This is his 11th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nadal is bidding to win his 2nd Australian Open title and become the first man in the Open Era – and only the 3rd man in history – to win each of the 4 Grand Slam titles twice. Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only players to have won each Grand Slam on two or more occasions [see Preview page 2].

 

  • Last year here Nadal lost to Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals. It ended Nadal’s 17-match winning streak against Berdych which was the joint longest winning streak in a Tour-level head-to-head.

 

  • In 2015, Nadal won 3 titles at Buenos Aires (d. Juan Monaco), Stuttgart (d. Viktor Troicki) and Hamburg
    (d. Fabio Fognini). This is the joint fewest titles he has won in a season since 2004 when he won one title. It was also the first year he failed to win a Grand Slam title since 2004.

 

  • At the majors in 2015, Nadal lost in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros to Novak Djokovic. It was just his second defeat in 95 best-of-5 set matches and ended his 39-match winning streak at the French Open. He lost to qualifier Dustin Brown in the 2nd round at Wimbledon and to Fabio Fognini in the 3rd round at the US Open.
  • Nadal is looking to win his 15th Grand Slam title and close the gap on Federer in the list of all-time Grand Slam title holders. He is currently joint-2nd with Pete Sampras on the list behind Federer (17). He was one of 7 Grand Slam champions to start this year’s men’s main draw.

 

  • Nadal’s best performance at the Australian Open was winning the title in 2009 (d. Federer). He also reached the final in 2012, losing to Djokovic in the longest men’s Grand Slam final on record at 5 hours, 53 minutes, and in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka).

 

  • Nadal has never lost in the 1st round at the Australian Open. He has only lost in the 1st round at a Grand Slam once before – to Steve Darcis at 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Nadal warmed up for the Australian Open at Doha, where he lost in the final to Djokovic.

 

  • Nadal is coached by his uncle, Toni Nadal, and his fitness trainer is Rafael Maymo.

 

  • Lefthander VERDASCO is contesting his 13th consecutive Australian Open and his 51st Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Verdasco recorded his best Grand Slam result here in 2009, when he lost to today’s opponent in the semifinals.

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2015, Verdasco reached the 3rd round at the Australian Open (l. Novak Djokovic) and at Wimbledon (l. Stan Wawrinka) but fell in the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Benjamin Becker) and the US Open (l. Milos Raonic).

 

  • Verdasco’s best results in 2015 were reaching the semifinals at Ecuador (l. Feliciano Lopez) and Houston (l. Sam Querrey). He recorded back-to-back wins at just 6 tournaments and ended the year ranked No. 47, his lowest year-end ranking for 12 years.

 

  • Verdasco warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at Doha (d. Malek Jaziri, l. Djokovic).

 

  • Verdasco has won 6 career singles titles, most recently at 2014 Houston (d. Nicolas Almagro). 2 of his titles have come on hard court – at 2009 New Haven and 2010 San Jose. He is a former Top 10 player, having reached a career-high ranking of No. 7 in 2009, but plays here at No. 47.

 

  • Verdasco has played at every Grand Slam event since making his debut at 2003 Wimbledon. This is his 51st straight major. Only 2 men have a longer active streak: Roger Federer (65) and Feliciano Lopez (56).

 

  • Verdasco entered the men’s doubles here with Robin Haase. They will play Colin Fleming/Jonathan Erlich in the 1st round. Verdasco has won 7 career doubles titles.

 

  • Verdasco is coached by David Sanchez and Sergio Perez. His fitness trainers are Jesus Rivera-Huidobro and Claudio Soliva.

 

 

8 DAVID FERRER (ESP) v (Q) PETER GOJOWCZYK (GER)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

FERRER                                        v                                   GOJOWCZYK

 

33                                          Age                                          26

8                             ATP Ranking (18 Jan)                           223

26                                         Titles                                          0

130-51                     Career Grand Slam Record                       2-5

35-13                        Australian Open Record                          0-3

659-313                              Career Record                               10-15

308-166                        Career Record – Hard                            8-9

2-2                                   2016 Record                                   0-0

2-2                              2016 Record – Hard                              0-0

20-11                         Career Five-Set Record                          1-2

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

148-131                      Career Tiebreak Record                          7-7

1-0                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • FERRER is contesting his 14th successive Australian Open and his 52nd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Ferrer has not lost in the 1st round at a Grand Slam event since 2005 Wimbledon, where as No. 17 seed he lost to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. He fell in the 1st round here on his Grand Slam debut in 2003 (l. Hyung-Taik Lee) and again in 2005 (l. David Nalbandian).

 

  • Ferrer’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the final as No. 4 seed at 2013 Roland Garros, where he lost in straight sets to Nadal. At 31 years 68 days, he was the 4th oldest man to reach the Roland Garros final.

 

  • Ferrer’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 7 seed in 2011 (l. Andy Murray) and as No. 4 seed in 2013 (l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Last year here Ferrer reached the round of 16, losing to Kei Nishikori. Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2015, Ferrer reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros (l. Murray) and the 3rd round at the US Open
    (l. Jeremy Chardy). He missed Wimbledon with an elbow injury, ending a run of 50 straight Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • Ferrer warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals at Auckland, losing to Jack Sock. He fell in the 1st round at Doha to Illya Marchenko.

 

  • Ferrer finished 2015 at No. 7 in the rankings – the 6th consecutive year he has finished in the Top 10. He won 5 titles in 2015, the most titles he has won in a calendar year since 2012. He won the titles at Doha
    (d. Tomas Berdych), Rio de Janeiro (d. Fabio Fognini), Acapulco (d. Kei Nishikori), Kuala Lumpur
    (d. Feliciano Lopez) and Vienna (d. Steve Johnson). He played just one event between Roland Garros and the US Open due to an elbow injury.

 

  • Ferrer started working with Francisco Fogues in 2015.

 

  • Qualifier GOJOWCZYK is looking for his first match-win at the Australian Open. This is his 4th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 6th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Gojowczyk has lost in the 1st round in all 3 of his previous appearances at the Australian Open – as a qualifier in 2012 (l. Donald Young) and 2014 (l. Victor Hanescu), and he retired with cramping as a direct acceptance in 2015 (l. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez). He failed to qualify here in 2013.

 

  • Gojowczyk defeated Brydan Klein (GBR) 75 62, Frances Tiafoe (USA) 63 62 and Alexander Kudryavtsev (RUS) 36 76(3) 62 in the 3 rounds of qualifying.
  • The only other Grand Slam event Gojowczyk has contested is the US Open, where he reached the 2nd round as a qualifier in both 2013 (l. Evgeny Donskoy) and 2014 (l. Milos Raonic). At the majors in 2015, he lost in the 1st round at the Australian Open and failed to qualify at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Gojowczyk fell in the 1st round at the Happy Valley Challenger (AUS) (l. Alexander Sarkissian).

 

  • Gojowyczk’s best results in 2015 came on the Challenger Circuit. He won the title at Nan Chang (CHN)
    (d. Amir Weintraub) and reached the semifinals at Ningbo (l. Yen-Hsun Lu). He played in 3 Tour-level events, winning just one match at Chennai (d. Alejandro Falla, l. Roberto Bautista Agut).

 

  • Gojowyczk is looking for his 2nd victory over a Top 10 player, having defeated No. 9 Raonic at 2014 Halle. He has a 1-3 win-loss record against Top 10 players overall.

 

  • Gojowczyk is coached by Lars Uebel. He trains at the Sport-Scheck Allwetteranlage in Munich.

 

 

13 MILOS RAONIC (CAN) v LUCAS POUILLE (FRA)

Head-to-head: Raonic leads 1-0
2016     Brisbane           Hard (O)           QF       Raonic              64 64

 

A 2nd straight meeting in Australia this month for the 2 players. Raonic defeated Pouille en route to winning his 8th career title at Brisbane.

 

RAONIC                                        v                                       POUILLE

 

25                                          Age                                          21

14                            ATP Ranking (18 Jan)                            90

8                                          Titles                                          0

43-19                      Career Grand Slam Record                       1-7

14-5                         Australian Open Record                          0-2

211-103                              Career Record                               18-23

154-64                         Career Record – Hard                          12-14

4-0                                   2016 Record                                   2-1

4-0                              2016 Record – Hard                              2-1

5-4                           Career Five-Set Record                          0-1

0                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

137-88                       Career Tiebreak Record                         13-5

2-1                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • RAONIC is bidding to maintain his record of always having reached the 2nd round here.

 

  • Last year here as No. 8 seed Raonic recorded his best Australian Open result by reaching the quarterfinals (l. Novak Djokovic). This is his 6th Australian Open appearance and his 20th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2015, Raonic reached the 3rd round at both Wimbledon (l. Nick Kyrgios) and the US Open (l. Feliciano Lopez). He missed Roland Garros with a right foot injury, which required surgery in May 2015.

 

  • Raonic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the semifinals as No. 8 seed at 2014 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer). He became the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal after Robert Powell at 1908 Wimbledon.

 

  • Raonic’s best result in 2015 was winning the title at St. Petersburg (d. Joao Sousa). He also finished as runner-up at Brisbane (l. Federer) and reached the semifinals at Indian Wells-1000 and Rotterdam. He ended his season after Shanghai-1000 in October due to a hip injury.

 

  • Raonic reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 in May 2015 after reaching the quarterfinals at Madrid-1000 (l. Andy Murray). He finished the year in the Top 20 for the 4th straight year and plays here at No. 14.

 

  • Raonic warmed up for the Australian Open by winning his 8th career title as No. 4 seed at Brisbane, avenging his defeat to Federer in the 2015 final with his 2nd career victory over the Swiss. All 8 of Raonic’s career titles have come on a hard court.

 

  • Raonic became the first Canadian to be seeded in the men’s singles at a Grand Slam event in the Open Era at 2011 Roland Garros. He plays here seeded No. 13 – his lowest Grand Slam seeding since 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Raonic was born in Montenegro but moved to Canada in 1994. He started playing tennis aged 8.

 

  • Raonic started working with former world No. 1 Carlos Moya at the 2016 Australian Open. Moya finished runner-up here in 1997 before going on to win Roland Garros in 1998. He is also coached by Riccardo Piatti.

 

  • POUILLE is bidding to reach the 2nd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Pouille’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the 2nd round on his Grand Slam debut as a wild card at 2013 Roland Garros (l. Grigor Dimitrov). It was his first Tour-level match-win.

 

  • Pouille has lost in the 1st round in 6 of his 7 Grand Slam appearances – including as a wild card here in both 2014 (d. Alex Kuznetsov, l. Dusan Lajovic) and 2015, when he fell to Gael Monfils in his only career 5-set match to date. He failed to qualify here in 2013.

 

  • Pouille warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Brisbane (l. today’s opponent). It was just the 6th time he has won back-to-back matches at Tour-level.

 

  • Pouille is bidding to defeat a player ranked in the Top 20 for the 3rd time. Pouille has a 2-6 win-loss record against Top 20 opposition, having defeated No. 20 Fabio Fognini at 2014 Paris-1000 and No. 16 David Goffin for the best win of his career at 2016 Brisbane.

 

  • Pouille’s best results in 2015 were reaching his first Tour-level semifinals – as a lucky loser at Auckland
    (l. Adrian Mannarino) and as a qualifier at Hamburg (l. Fabio Fognini). He also reached quarterfinals at St. Petersburg and Moscow, losing to Roberto Bautista Agut on both occasions, and finished as runner-up at the Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger (FRA).

 

  • Pouille reached a career-high ranking of No. 23 on the junior circuit. He reached the quarterfinals of the boys’ event at the 2011 Australian Open and the 2nd round as a wild card at 2010 junior Roland Garros. He was a member of the French team that finished runner-up to USA at the 2008 World Junior Tennis Finals.

 

  • Pouille entered the men’s doubles event here with Adrian Mannarino. The pair will play Victor Estrella Burgos/Santiago Giraldo in the 1st round.

 

  • Pouille is coached by Emmanuel Planque.

 

16 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v DENIS ISTOMIN (UZB)

Head-to-head: Tomic leads 3-1

2012     Brisbane                       Hard (O)           QF       Tomic               63 76(4)
2012     Monte Carlo-1000         Clay (O)           R64      Tomic               64 63

2013     Davis Cup                     Clay (I)             R4        Tomic               46 62 62 63

2014     Washington                  Hard (O)           R32      Istomin             64 76(6)

 

TOMIC                                                   v                              ISTOMIN

 

23                                          Age                                          29

17                            ATP Ranking (18 Jan)                            59

3                                          Titles                                          1

30-23                      Career Grand Slam Record                      28-30

12-7                         Australian Open Record                          7-9

133-117                              Career Record                              185-190

99-74                          Career Record – Hard                        107-119

4-2                                   2016 Record                                   0-2

4-2                              2016 Record – Hard                              0-2

7-2                           Career Five-Set Record                          11-6

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

80-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                        92-79

2-2                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • TOMIC is bidding to record his 100th career hard court match-win today.

 

  • Tomic is bidding to reach the 2nd round at the Australian Open for the 7th time. This is his 8th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 25th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
  • Tomic’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the round of 16 in 2012 (l. Roger Federer) and 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2015, Tomic reached the 3rd round at Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic) and the US Open (l. Richard Gasquet) and fell in the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Thanasi Kokkinakis).

 

  • Also in 2015, Tomic defended his title at Bogota (d. Adrian Mannarino) and reached the semifinals at Delray Beach (l. Donald Young). All of Tomic’s 3 career singles titles have come on a hard court.

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals at Brisbane (l. Milos Raonic) and the quarterfinals at Sydney, where he retired with fatigue and dizziness while trailing Teymuraz Gabashvili 63 3-0. He plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 17.

 

  • Tomic is one of 9 Australians starting in the men’s draw here. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of 8 former junior Australian Open champions in the draw. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

  • ISTOMIN is bidding to reach the 2nd round here for the 6th time.

 

  • Istomin is looking to record his first match-win of 2016. Prior to coming here Istomin lost in the 1st round at both Brisbane (l. Mikhail Kukushkin) and Sydney (Andreas Seppi).

 

  • Last year here Istomin fell to Seppi in 5-sets in the 1st round. He has lost to Seppi in both of his 2 five-set matches at Melbourne Park but has an 11-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Istomin’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round here in 2010 and 2014, losing to Novak Djokovic on both occasions. He is contesting his 10th Australian Open and his 31st Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Istomin’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 at 2012 Wimbledon (l. Mikhail Youzhny) and the 2013 US Open (l. Andy Murray). He is the only Uzbek player (man or woman) to reach the last 16 at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Istomin’s best result at the Grand Slams in 2015 was reaching the 2nd round at the US Open, where he retired with a right leg injury against Dominic Thiem. He fell in the 1st round at the Australian Open, Roland Garros (l. Nick Kyrgios) and Wimbledon, where he retired with fatigue against Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

 

  • Istomin’s best result in 2015 was winning his first Tour-level singles title at Nottingham (d. Sam Querrey). He reached 3 further quarterfinals at Montpellier, Bastad and St. Petersburg and finished the year ranked inside the Top 100 for the 6th straight year. He plays here ranked No. 59.

 

  • Istomin has won just one of his 14 previous matches against Top 20 opposition at the Grand Slams. His only win over a Top 20 player at a major came against No. 15 Nicolas Almagro at the 2013 US Open. He is on a 4-match losing streak against Top 20 players at Tour-level, with his last win over a Top 20 opponent coming against Ernests Gulbis at 2015 Dubai.

 

  • Istomin entered the men’s doubles here with Aliaksandr Bury. The pair will play No. 14 seeds Treat Huey/Max Mirnyi in the 1st round. Istomin has won 3 doubles titles, including one with Bury in their 2nd tournament together at 2015 Gstaad.

 

  • Istomin broke his leg in a car accident in 2001 while travelling to a Futures event in Tashkent. He spent 3 months in hospital and did not touch a racket in 2 years, with doctors doubting he would ever play competitive tennis again.

 

  • Istomin has received support from the Grand Slam Development Fund, receiving travel grants in 2004.

 

  • Istomin is coached by his mother Klaudiya Istomina.

 

 

(WC) JAMES DUCKWORTH (AUS) v (WC) LLEYTON HEWITT (AUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Duckworth and Hewitt are 2 of the 9 Australian men to start in the main draw here vying to become the first homegrown champion since Mark Edmondson in 1976. This is just the 2nd all-Australian 1st round match-up at Melbourne Park since 2004. The most recent one in 2013 also featured Duckworth, who defeated Benjamin Mitchell in 5 sets for his first 5-set match-win.

 

DUCKWORTH                                   v                                        HEWITT

 

23*                                          Age                                          34

129                            ATP Ranking (18 Jan)                           308

0                                          Titles                                         30

4-12                       Career Grand Slam Record                     147-63

3-4                          Australian Open Record                        31-19

16-30                                Career Record                              615-261

12-22                          Career Record – Hard                        371-157

1-2                                   2016 Record                                   0-0

1-2                              2016 Record – Hard                              0-0

3-4                           Career Five-Set Record                         32-25

0                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         6

15-15                        Career Tiebreak Record                      171-157

0-1                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

                                                                                       *Turns 24 on 21 January

 

  • Wild card DUCKWORTH is looking to reach the 2nd round here and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Duckworth earned a wild card into the main draw after winning the Australian Open wild card play-off. His final opponent, Benjamin Mitchell, withdrew ahead of the final to be with his girlfriend for the birth of their first child.

 

  • This is Duckworth’s 5th straight Australian Open appearance and his 13th Grand Slam overall. He has lost in the 1st round in 8 of his 12 previous appearances at the majors, including as a wild card here in 2014
    (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Duckworth’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the 2nd round at Melbourne Park as a wild card in 2012 (d. Jurgen Zopp, l. Janko Tipsarevic), 2013 (d. Benjamin Mitchell, l. Blaz Kavcic) and 2015 (d. Kavcic,
    Richard Gasquet), and as a direct acceptance at 2015 Wimbledon (d. Malek Jaziri, l. Sam Groth).

 

  • Elsewhere at the majors in 2015, Duckworth lost in 5-sets in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Andrea Arnaboldi), and at the US Open (l. Hyeon Chung).

 

  • Duckworth’s best results last year came on the Challenger Circuit. He reached the final at Kolkata (IND)
    (l. Radu Albot) and the semifinals at San Luis Potosi (MEX) (l. Guido Pella). He reached 2 Tour-level quarterfinals at Brisbane and Nice. He reached a career-high ranking of No. 82 in April but plays here at No. 129.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Duckworth reached the 2nd round as a wild card at Sydney (d. Inigo Cervantes Huegun, l. Jeremy Chardy) and lost in the 1st round as a wild card at Brisbane to Dominic Thiem. He reached his first career doubles final at Brisbane with Chris Guccione, losing to Henri Kontinen/John Peers.

 

  • Duckworth has entered the men’s doubles event here as a wild card with countryman John Millman. The pair will face Lukas Dlouhy/Jiri Vesely in the 1st round.

 

  • Duckworth reached the 2010 Australian Open boys’ singles quarterfinals as a wild card (l. Gianni Mina). He also reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles event at Roland Garros and reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 7 in July 2010.

 

  • Duckworth’s grandmother Beryl Penrose was women’s singles champion at the 1955 Australian Championships.
  • Duckworth is coached by Ben Mathias. His physical trainer is Ian Prangley.

 

  • 2005 Australian Open runner-up HEWITT is making his 20th – and final – Australian Open appearance, extending his record for the most Australian Open appearances ahead of Fabrice Santoro (18) [see Preview page 3]. He is in joint-4th place in the list for the most appearances at a single Grand Slam.

 

  • Hewitt is also making his 66th Grand Slam appearance overall, which puts him in 3rd place for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era after Fabrice Santoro and Roger Federer [see Preview page 5].

 

  • In his 19 previous appearances at Melbourne Park, Hewitt has fallen in the 1st round 7 times.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Hewitt teamed with Jarmila Wolfe as the Australia Gold team at Hopman Cup. Hewitt defeated Jack Sock but lost to Jiri Vesely and Alexandr Dolgopolov in the round-robin.

 

  • At last year’s Australian Open, Hewitt lost in the 2nd round in 5-sets to Benjamin Becker. He is on a 6-match losing streak in 5-set matches. Hewitt has a 7-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open and a 32-25 5-set win-loss record overall. He hasn’t won a 5-set match at Melbourne Park since defeating Marcos Baghdatis in the 3rd round in 2008 in a match that finished at 4:34am.

 

  • All 3 of Hewitt’s Grand Slam appearances in 2015 ended in 5-set defeats. As well as losing to Becker in the 2nd round here, he lost to Jarkko Nieminen in the 1st round as a wild card at Wimbledon in a match where the final set finished 11-9, and to Bernard Tomic as a wild card in the 2nd round at the US Open. He did not play at Roland Garros.

 

  • Hewitt is a former Grand Slam champion, having won the 2001 US Open (d. Pete Sampras) and 2002 Wimbledon (d. David Nalbandian). He was one of 7 Grand Slam champions to start in the men’s main draw here.

 

  • Hewitt finished runner-up here in 2005, becoming the first Australian to reach an Australian Open final since Pat Cash in 1988. He lost to Marat Safin 16 63 64 64 and had carried a hip flexor injury throughout the whole tournament.

 

  • Hewitt has entered the men’s doubles event here with Sam Groth. The pair will play Dusan Lajovic/Viktor Troicki in the 1st round.

 

  • In Davis Cup play in 2015, Hewitt helped Australia to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2006, where they lost to eventual champions Great Britain 3-2. He has been named as Australia’s Davis Cup captain and his first tie in charge will be against USA in Kooyong on 4-6 March.

 

  • Outside of the Grand Slams and Davis Cup, Hewitt played a limited schedule in 2015, contesting just 6 other tournaments. He won 4 matches all year – 2 at the Grand Slams, one in Davis Cup and one at Washington. He plays here ranked No. 308.

 

  • Hewitt is coached by Tony Roche and Jaymon Crabb.

 

 

ADRIAN MANNARINO (FRA) v SAM GROTH (AUS)

 

Head-to-head: first Tour-level meeting

2007     Great Britain     Futures             Hard (I)             R32     Groth               64 76(4)

2014     Knoxville           Challenger        Hard (I)             FR        Mannarino        36 76(6) 64

 

 

MANNARINO                                    v                                        GROTH

 

27                                          Age                                          28

48                            ATP Ranking (18 Jan)                            67

0                                          Titles                                          0

16-23                      Career Grand Slam Record                       6-8

3-6                          Australian Open Record                          2-3

77-109                               Career Record                               32-43

54-73                          Career Record – Hard                          19-32

0-1                                   2016 Record                                   0-2

0-1                              2016 Record – Hard                              0-2

3-3                           Career Five-Set Record                          1-0

0                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

34-47                        Career Tiebreak Record                        36-29

  • 2016 Tiebreak Record                                  0-3

 

  • Lefthander MANNARINO is bidding to reach the 2nd round and equal his best Australian Open performance. He reached the 2nd round here in 2011 (d. Ryan Harrison, l. Richard Gasquet), 2014
    (d. Steve Johnson, l. David Ferrer) and 2015 (d. Blaz Rola, l. Feliciano Lopez). Last year he retired in the 2nd round with illness.

 

  • Mannarino’s best Grand Slam performance is a round of 16 finish at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Lukas Kubot) – one of just 3 times he has advanced beyond the 2nd round at a Grand Slam in 23 previous appearances. This is his 7th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 24th major overall.

 

  • At the majors in 2015, Mannarino reached the 2nd round at the Australian Open, Wimbledon (d. Michael Berrer, l. Gael Monfils) and the US Open (d. Konstantin Kravchuk, l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Jurgen Melzer). He led Murray by 2-sets-to-love at the US Open before falling in 5-sets. His 5-set win-loss record is 3-3.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2015, Mannarino reached his first Tour-level final at Auckland (l. Jiri Vesely) and also finished as runner-up at Bogota (l. Bernard Tomic). He reached the semifinals at Delray Beach (l. Ivo Karlovic). He reached a career-high ranking of No. 27 after his run to the final at Bogota and plays here at No. 48.

 

  • Mannarino warmed-up for the Australian Open by winning the Noumea Challenger (CAL) (d. Alejandro Falla) but lost in the 1st round at Sydney to Nicolas Mahut.

 

  • Mannarino is coached by Marc Gicquel, who reached the 3rd round here in 2008. His fitness trainer is Pascal Supiot from the French Tennis Federation.

 

  • GROTH is looking for his first match-win of 2016. He is on a 5-match losing streak having not won a Tour-level match since the 2015 US Open.

 

  • Groth recorded his best Grand Slam performance here last year when he reached the 3rd round
    (l. Bernard Tomic). He also reached the 3rd round at 2015 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer). This is his 4th Australian Open appearance and his 9th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Also at the Grand Slams last year, Groth reached the 2nd round at the US Open (d. Alexandr Dolgopolov, l. Tommy Robredo) but lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Pablo Cuevas).

 

  • Groth’s best results in 2015 were quarterfinals finishes at Brisbane (l. Milos Raonic), Stuttgart (l. Viktor Troicki) and Washington (l. Kei Nishikori). He won 2 Challenger titles at Taipei (TPE) (d. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Manchester (GBR) (d. Luke Saville). He reached a career-high ranking of No. 53 in August but plays here ranked No. 67.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Groth lost in the 1st round at both Brisbane (l. Hyeon Chung) and Sydney
    (l. Federico Delbonis). His defeat to Delbonis at Sydney ended a run of 5 straight victories over lefthanded players. He has an 8-4 win-loss record against lefthanded players overall.

 

  • Also in 2015, Groth helped Australia reach the Davis Cup World Group semifnals, where they lost to eventual champions Great Britain 3-2. In the quarterfinals against Kazakhstan, he won the doubles rubber with Hewitt and the 1st reverse singles rubber against Mikhail Kukushkin as Australia fought back from 0-2 down to record a historic win.

 

  • Groth has entered the men’s doubles event here with Hewitt. They will play Dusan Lajovic/Viktor Troicki in the 1st round.

 

  • Groth was one of 9 Australian men to start in the main draw here vying to be the first homegrown champion since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Groth is coached by Ben Mathias.

 

 

All statistics courtesy of Grand Slam Media and the Australia Open Men’s information team.

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Paire, Stosur, Thiem, Tsurenko and Tomic Win Tennis Titles This Week

Samantha Stosur

Samantha Stosur

(July 26, 2015) Benoit Paire, Samantha StosurDominik Thiem, Lesia Tsurenko and Bernard Tomic were the singles winners on the tennis tour this weekend.

France’s Paire joined the winner’s circle for the first time, claiming the ATP World Tour title at the SkiStar Swedish Open in Bastad when he turned back Spain’s Tommy Robredo 7-6(7), 6-3. Paire is the sixth first-time winner on the men’s tour this year.

“It’s a perfect week,” Paire said. “The conditions today were not easy, but I’m really happy to win against Tommy. He’s a very good player. To play against him in the final and to beat him is a dream, so I’m very happy.

“It was a lot of pressure…  I hope it’s not the last one for me.”

Samantha Stosur rallied to win her second WTA title of the year and eighth overall after defeating Karin Knapp of Italy 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the final of the Gastein Ladies on Sunday. The Australian and former US Open champion also won the Strasbourg event back in May.

In a final which featured two unseeded players, Lesia Tsurenko won her first WTA title, besting Urszula Radwanska 7-5, 6-1 to win the Istanbul Cup.

“I’m so happy I could win here and show good tennis,” said the Ukrainian.

“That’s my goal, getting good results and showing good tennis.”

Austria’s Dominik Thiem won his second career ATP World Tour title, besting Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4, 6-1 to win the Croatia Open

“Today was very special day,” Thiem said. “We were watched by world’s number one Novak Djokovic,” Thiem said. “Usually he is the one who entertains us with great tennis and today we turned it around.”

“It is really special to win here after playing juniors matches in this stadium,” said Thiem who became the first Austrian to win this title since Thomas Muster did it twenty years ago. “I will have a nice dinner with my friends tonight to celebrate. It won’t be a big party for me as I have to drive eight hours to go to Gstaad tomorrow.”

Second seed Bernard Tomic defended his Claro Open Colombia title in Bogota, beating Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

“It’s been a very good year,” Tomic said. “I started at No. 70 and am now close to No. 20. It’s been a good seven months. I’ll try to play well the next three months and have the chance to be in the Top 15.

“Every title you remember. I’m very happy to have won my third title and to defend it here was amazing. I’m really happy with myself… This is my most consistent year.”

The 22-year-old Australian, ranked 29th,  is now 9-0 at the tournament.

 

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Kyrgios Saves a Match Point to Join Nadal and Berdych in Australian Open Quarterfinals

Kyrgios

(January 25, 2015) Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios rocked the jam-packed Hisense Arena on Sunday in Melbourne Park coming back from two sets down and saving a match point by beating Roger Federer conqueror Andreas Seppi 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 8-6 to reach the quarterfinals. Seppi knocked out Federer in the third round.

He is now the first Australian to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on the men’s side since 2005. The 19-year-old also becomes the first male teenager since Roger Federer to reach two Grand Slam quarterfinals. Kyrgios reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year defeating then No. 1 Rafael Nadal along the way.

After the match in an on-court interview Kyrgios said to the crowd, “Thanks mate. Feels so good.”

“I know that he (Seppi) had a lot of confidence, obviously, beating Roger,” Kyrgios said. “Drawing all my experience from Wimbledon, coming back from two sets down, I knew I had the legs to do that.”

“I knew it was going to be a tough battle. He’s playing some of the best tennis he’s played ever since coming off that win against Roger. I knew it was going to be tough from the get-go. I just had to draw on my experiences of coming back from two sets to love. Paid off in the end.”

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. When I saw I had finally won the match it was incredible. It was the best feeling I ever had. To know the body could come back from two sets to love, knowing I haven’t had matches, it’s just massive confidence.”

“As you all know – you’ve been asking about my back a fair bit – that’s a bit sore. Physically I thought my legs pulled up well throughout the whole match. I got a bit tired halfway through the fifth set, you know, I guess just by being out on the court. Being in that atmosphere is pretty tiring, but I knew he’d be feeling the same way. He’s never reached a quarterfinal before. All those thoughts going through his head. I think I had to draw on that. I just stuck in there.”

“I think I just played a couple bad games at the beginning of the third set, Seppi said. “I missed three easy forehands for the break for him. And, yeah, maybe he played a little bit more relaxed after that. Yeah, I think maybe if I could stay even in the third set it’s a little bit already change.”

The young Australian will play Andy Murray in the quarterfinals. The seventh seed Murray won the last five games of the match to take out Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5

Asked about the potential match against Murray or Dimitrov, Kyrgios said: “They’re both some of the best players in the world. Obviously for the last couple years, they’ve been in the best form of their life. Murray, I think he’s one of the greatest athletes on the tour. He’s going to make me play a lot of balls. And Dimitrov, obviously he’s got unbelievable talent, can come forward, can transition, returns well, mixes it up well. They’re both great players. I’m just excited to go up against either one of those guys.”

2009 Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych will match-up in the final eight.

Nadal fended off six break points in the first set before changing the momentum and passing Keven Anderson 7-5, 6-1, 6-4. Nadal will play No. 7 Berdych next. Berdych took out another Australian hope Bernard Tomic 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

“The chance to be in the quarterfinals after a tough period of time for me is a fantastic result,” said Nadal. “But for me quarterfinals is a great result, talking seriously. Arriving here, losing in the first round of Qatar, not playing matches for the last seven months, to have the chance to be in quarterfinals again here is a very positive thing for me. I’m very happy for that. I am sure that going to help me for the next events. For sure I going to try my best after tomorrow. I am not a person that I am happy like this and that’s it. No. I try to play better and better every day. If that happens, I hope to keep having chances for the next match. But today is a day to be happy the way that I improved my level of everything, talking about tennis, all the things I have to do on court. I was closer today. Even if I played the first two sets the other day well, today I was much closer what I have to do to try to have success.”

More to follow….

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